POLICE RESCUES 17-YEAR-OLD SCHOOL GIRL FROM FORCEFUL CHILD MARRIAGE, 5 SUSPECTS CHARGED WITH KIDNAP, TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS AND AGGRAVATED DEFILEMENT

The Directorate of CID in coordination with Kiruhura Territorial Police, have in custody 5 suspects, linked to the alleged kidnap of a 17-year-old, school girl, trafficking with intent to forcefully marry her of and for aggravated defilement. The victim was recovered and is being managed by a team of experts from the Gender Unit at CID Headquarters.

The facts gathered indicate that the parents of the 17-year-old girl victim who was in her senior 4 vacation, reported her alleged disappearance on the 10.02.2023, which was later discovered to be an abduction, at Nkungu Police Station in Kazo, Kiruhura District. She was victimised as she prepared to join A-level in furtherance of her studies.

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 girl victim and the prime suspect were hidden. That vey 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. The 5 suspects who were arrested include; Kanzira Napolen, the alleged defiler, Kwetesa John (his father), Arinaitwe Sam (his uncle), Katera John and his wife Karuza Janet (where both the girl and suspect were hiding), for various offences of Child Kidnap, trafficking in persons and aggravated defilement.

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. We call upon the public to reject as illegal, the practice of child marriage in communities. The arrest of the suspects reflects the severity of the crime and we would like to applaud the parents, the girl victim and everyone who worked with police to identify and arrest the perpetrators.

The UPF remains committed to investigating and arresting individuals who sexually exploit children.

Source: Uganda Police Force