PARLIAMENT – Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has pointed the finger at teachers and parents for neglecting their duties to protect the children they have been entrusted with, saying this has exposed the little ones to defilement and rape.
Kadaga made the remarks yesterday while receiving a petition from victims of defilement and former abductees by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels, who had come to petition Parliament over the gender based and sexual abuse taking place in Uganda.
The Speaker lashed out at parents for sending children out of home during odd and risky hours arguing that such decisions have propagated a fertile ground for the perpetrators to carry out the heinous acts against the youngsters.
The teachers on the other hand were rebuked for topping the list of child defilers with Kadaga stating: “Some of the perpetrators are teachers and head teachers. We need more action on those people because the ethics of the teaching profession doesn’t allow that.”
While handing over their petition to Parliament, some women abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) threatened to return to the bush and look for the fathers of their children, saying the residents in communities they settled in are treating them horribly.
A former abductee, Doreen Itwala, one of the ladies abducted by rebels of Joseph Kony revealed that she was abducted at 13 years on 24th June 2003 at around 4am alongside other 180 girls from Lwala Girls Secondary School in Kabermaido district.
She said that some of the girls escaped from captivity with HIV/AIDS and pregnant, while others came with children fathered by the rebels, but at the moment, most of them are to raise the children.
Itwala explained: “Most of the girls came back with children from LRA and came back positive and they are finding challenges to fit in the community because the communities are discriminating them. They are telling them to take back their children because children have blood of criminals and some of the girls, the community members threaten the girls that the children are rebels and harmful to the community.”
First Lady and Education Minister Janet Museveni, said that the responsibility to protect children from sexual abuse shouldn’t be left solely to Government, but the community needs to lend a hand.
“In order for us as a country to defeat these problems, we need to do it together as a country, government and as communities. That is how our children can grow up in security and safety. Even if at the Ministry of Education try to fight these problems os early marriages and sexual abuse in schools, these problems are still in homes,” Janet said.
Obiga Kania, State Minister for Internal Affairs warned Police officers against negotiating on behalf of families in cases of rape and defilement.
The Minister also warned to sack any Police officer found negotiating on criminal matters saying: “I am aware there are some Police men who want to do a mediation role in the issue of rape and defilement where the parents of the girls