Wednesday, April 16, 2008


These child molesters belong to the gallows
Last week Daily Monitor’s new M2 section carried a sad story about a 9-year- old girl Jan ( not real name for respect of her privacy) who was robbed of her childhood by a ‘trusted’ uncle who defiled her several times during a short holiday. Now, this is the kind of horrendous crimes committed against children that should send the offending culprits to the gallows.

With so many call/ street girls and pimps in town and with many women looking for men for all sorts of things from marriage to being the ‘father of my children’ and just having pure; how do we still have in our society pedophiles (beastly men ) who abuse children/toddlers who are too young to make sound judgments on their own?

And child molesters are not only in Uganda . They are all over the world. A 58-year-old grandfather was recently deported from Australia to UK when he demonstrated no remorse after sexually assaulting more than a dozen young girls.

These pedophiles are so sadistic that they even videotape their criminal acts and post them on the World Wide Web (WWW) for everyone to see!
Just last week, another prominent pastor in Kampala was exposed by the media for sending explicitly sexual and obscene e-mails to his step daughter.

This shameless pastor falls in the category of men and women who go out on intimate dates but later develop feelings for their partners’ children.
This wanton behaviour is not only about being lustful, it’s criminal under the charge of incest-- a serious offence in the criminal penal code which attracts a maximum sentence of life imprisonment on conviction.

But life imprisonment sentences are not good enough for people who sexually assault babies. Such convicts should face the guillotine and the law needs to be amended in this respect.

Our society is so sick that you have people who have made it a habit to litter used condoms even when a pit latrine is just next door. Unsuspecting children pick and playfully blow these used condoms mistaking them for balloons and in the process get infected with all manner of diseases.

And because our society is largely indifferent and inhibited; children are not told that when a man whether their uncle(s) or brother(s) or stranger(s) for that matter touches their private parts or kisses them on the lips, they should report him to their father, mother or aunt or teacher.

This is of course not to forget that some parents especially fathers too have abused their own children (daughters). A good number of them are serving jail terms in the ‘university of understanding’- Luzira.

But given the HIV/Aids pandemic that is still eating deep into the fabric of our society, this is just about the time when parents should open up to their children .

At the age when a child enrolls for primary one, he or she should be told and warned about the bad things to look out for and try to avoid. For the babies– well, mothers just have to be vigilant. Some people have argued that child defilers are in most cases mentally demented. This is the more reason why such people should not be allowed to lurk around. They should be locked up or face the death penalty.

It’s equally wrong for judicial officers to advise aggrieved families to settle defilement cases out of court. Reported cases where judicial officers have failed to dispose of defilement charges must be investigated and the errant officers punished. Otherwise people will lose trust in our justice system.

The laws have to be enforced to the letter to accord children special protection to enable them develop physically, morally and socially in conditions of freedom and dignity.

The writer is a journalist and advocates

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