Cases of primary school teachers defiling their pupils in Bukedea district are on the rise and culprits are walking away with it, unfortunately.
This has been blamed on weak law implementation in the district which has given ground for perpetrators to plead and negotiate with victims’ parents to withdraw cases for the sake of money. As a result, Bukedea district education office has indicated that no teacher has ever appeared in court or faced interdiction for defiling a student since 2006.
In the past one month alone, police in the district have detained six teachers but all have since been released with no charge also leaving little trace of their case files.
They include; 34 year old Samuel Adome who was arrested on February 13, 2019 for allegedly defiling a 14 year old primary six pupil at Kachumbala primary school. Another Joseph Okiring, a teacher at the same school is also said to have defiled a 15 year old pupil within the same period. Others are 35 year old Joseph Odong and 45 year old James Odung both teachers of Tajar primary school who are alleged to have jointly defiled their 15 year old primary six pupil who was also the head girl of the same school.
While in Kapaang primary school, another suspected defiler Simon Otunye was also arrested for allegedly impregnating a 17 year old pupil at the same school. Samuel Emukajo 38 years also ‘ceased’ a chance to impregnate his pupil at Kadacar primary school.
“It is sad that police has never given us this information on these teachers, so sanctioning their interdiction is proving difficult because we generally lack evidence,” Mr. Micheal Obuya, the Bukedea district Inspector of Schools told Chimpreports on Monday. He said the office only receives reports about suspected teachers from the affected schools but police chief crime investigators at the district do not coordinate with them, being the teachers’ administrators.
Mr. Obuya added that some of the cases go unreported as head teachers at the affected schools are threatened by communities who now see defilement as a source of income for parents.
“Defilement truly is becoming a nightmare to our office and we are willing to take deterrent action on these teachers if availed with enough information,” Mr. Obuya said.
Bukedea District Police Commander Mr. Ambrose Tugume was not at office and was also unable to respond to our repeated calls for days. However a source at Bukedea central police whose names we have withheld due to protocol said police has usually forwarded case files to the office of the Resident State Attorney for suspects to appear in court.
“We hear the files are always called up in court but no complainants or witnesses come up to respond,” The source said.
Bukedea district Resident State Prosecutor Victoria Namwasa said that her office “works on files as they come but the ones of the teachers you are talking about, …maybe you need to provide more details so that I can respond.”
However Miss Mary Apio, a resident of Bukedea town blamed police in the district for acting as mediators between victim’s parents and culprits.
“Police treats culprits as bait for ransom so instead of investigating defilement cases, they then turn into negotiators because a better bargain also earns them a proper kickback,” Miss Apio said.
A fortnight ago, Bukedea security committee sat to forge away forward on the matter and Deputy Resident District Commissioner Mr. Charles Ichogor later highlighted that they had resolved that teachers found defiling pupils in the district were set to see hell as plans to procure a burddizo for castrating them had already been hatched.
Ichogor further said that the office of the Resident State Attorney was ordered in the meeting to sanction files of the suspected defilers so that they appear in court to face the law.“We cannot watch these mindless teachers spoil the future of our children so we agreed that they first be castrated before interdiction,” Ichogor bemoaned.
Parents’ appetite for money
ChimpReports has established that defilement is now being commercialized in Bukedea and in all the cases named, culprits paid between Shillings 1.5 Million and three Million shillings to buy freedom.
For the case of Mr. Odung of Tajar primary school, parents allegedly demanded Shillings 2.5 Million but he failed to pay and has since fled. While his partner in crime, Mr. Odong whom the young victim later revealed that he had paid her shillings 100,000 for not revealing his name also ‘talked to her parents’ at Kolir Police post and is now a free man and is back in class.
Another twist of events was when a parent in Malera secondary school a fortnight ago out of spite connived with his 16 year old daughter to fake a pregnancy and name one of the teachers for being responsible. The teacher Mr. Osekeny Martin was detained at Bukedea Central police station for six days until the girl felt pity and blew the cover off her father. The old man was asking for Shillings five Million which the teacher luckily failed to raise while in detention.
Arrest negotiating parents
Mr. Micheal Okwi, the councilor representing Bukedea sub-county at Bukedea district council revealed that parents in the district commonly use police to intimidate perpetrators into paying them hefty fines but are not seeking justice for defilement of their daughters.
“All these teachers are out because parents took them to police so that they have an edge while negotiating for a fine; which after payment guarantees release from custody and cancellation of the case,” Mr. Okwi said. He suggested that negotiating parents and police be arrested and imprisoned for abetting defilement, which is also criminal in the laws of Uganda.
What suspects say
Teacher Simon Otunye of Kapaang PS says the defilement case alleged on him was wrongfully reported by his wife following a family disagreement. He said her accusation that he had defiled her little sister was not true and the issue has since been settled. While Joseph Odong of Tajar PS said the issue was sorted, ‘police investigated the matter and found me innocent, otherwise I’m a little busy to continue in this discussion.’ when ChimpReports asked where he bought his way out at Kolir police post, he turned off his phone. James Odung another accused teacher of Tajar PS has not been reachable ever since he disappeared after failing to pay shillings 2.5 Million that the girl’s parents demanded.