POLICE RESCUE SCHOOLGIRL FROM FORCED MARRIAGE, FIVE ARRESTED
By Ahmed Matovu
KIRUHURA: The Directorate of Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in coordination with Kiruhura Police, have in custody five suspects, linked to the alleged kidnap of a 17-year-old, school girl, trafficking with intent to forcefully marry her and for aggravated defilement.
The Uganda Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga said the victim was recovered and is being managed by a team of experts from the Gender Unit at CID Headquarters in Kampala.
According to Enanga, parents of the 17-year-old girl victim who was in her senior four vacation, reported her alleged disappearance on Feb 10, 2023, which was later discovered to be an abduction, at Nkungu Police Station in Kazo, Kiruhura District.
The girl was victimised as she prepared to join A-level in furtherance of her studies.
The police spokesperson asserts that upon investigations, it was established that the victim was abducted by Kanzira Napoleon for marriage in conspiracy with his father identified as Kwetesa John.
‘’She was forced into a motor vehicle that was being driven by a one, Arinaitwe Sam, the uncle to the suspect who transported them up to the home of Katera John, where both the victim and the prime suspect were hidden,’’ Enanga said.
He added that the very night, the girl victim was sexually assaulted, by the suspect who, upon arrest admitted how he was aware that he was dealing with an underage girl.
Five suspects were arrested for various offences of Child Kidnap, trafficking in persons and aggravated defilement include Napoleon Kanzira, the alleged defiler, John Kwetesa (his father), Sam Arinaitwe (his uncle), John Katera and his wife Janet Karuza (where both the girl and suspect were hiding).
“As you are all aware, sex crimes against children and in particularly school goers is very disturbing. The suspect and his conspirators deliberately preyed on a vulnerable child, after abducing her in a cultural practice that is archaic, unconstitutional and violates the rights of a girl child. The practice puts the girl child at risks of sexual violence on their forced wedding night, draws them into premature motherhood and the pressure to bear children,” said Enanga
The police officer called on the public to reject as illegal, the practice of child marriage in communities.