KAMPALA – A new law is in the offing that will see sexual offenders like rapists, defilers and molesters have their DNA stored in databank so as to warn those around them about their shameful sexual acts following their conviction.
The proposal is contained in the ‘Sexual Offences Bill 2015’ that was referred back for harmonization, following the new changes that had been introduced in the bill following consultation with fears that the changes alters the original bill.
The private member’s bill was introduced by Kumi Woman MP, Monicah Amoding, but suffered defeat with the many clauses that had been introduced during consultations, and the Legislator was told by Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah to harmonise the bill before returning it to Parliament for consideration.
The Bill proposes in section 36; “The Court shall, where the accused person is convicted, order that the DNA sample be stored in a databank for sexual offenders. The sexual offenders databank referred to in subsection (1) shall be kept for such purpose and at such place and shall contain such particulars as may be determined by the Minister.” the bill reads in part.
While tabling the bill in 2015, Amoding argued that the main objective of the Bill was aimed at consolidating laws relating to sexual offences; combat sexual violence; provide for the punishment of perpetrators of sexual offences; provide for procedural and evidential requirements during trail of sexual offences and for other related matters.
Clause 21 of the Bill goes further to call for disclosure of a sexual offence for those convicted of the crimes with the legislation highlighting; “A person who has been convicted of a sexual offence should disclose such conviction when applying for employment which places him or her in a position of authority or care of children or any other vulnerable person or when offering or agreeing to take care of or supervise children or any other vulnerable person.”
However, failure by a person seeking employment to disclose the fact of their previous convictions for a sexual offence is guilty of an offence and is liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than three years and termination from the said employment.
However, it isn’t the perpetrators of sexual offences to be dealt with, the Bill has provisions for people who would be found to have made false allegations against another person to the effect that the person has committed an offence under this Act is guilty of an offence and shall be liable to punishment on conviction to imprisonment to a term of not less than three years.
The Bill also seeks to protect victims of sexual offences especially among children, so as to save them the hurdle or reliving their abusive experience with Section 34 of the bill noting that a victim of a sexual offence shall not be cross-examined on his or her prior sexual experience except with leave of court.