By Faith Barbara Namagembe Updated at 0833 EAT on 28th November 2022.
A four-year-old girl in Luwero district has been enrolled on post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to protect her from contracting HIV/Aids after being defiled by a 56-year-old man.
The minor, a pupil in ‘baby class’ at Katuum Asubira primary school is alleged to have been defiled by the suspect identified as Mugagga Matovu. The suspect lives just a stone’s throw away from the school premises. The victim’s mother explains that on June 21 the child returned home at break time carrying her knickers in her hands while crying, saying that she had been defiled by Mugagga.
She explains that together with teachers, they immediately arrested Mugagga and locked him in a classroom till police transferred him to Luwero central police station for interrogation. It is alleged that the suspect admitted to committing the offence and asked to settle the case with the parents of the victim in vain.
The mother of the victim explains that health workers at Luwero police health centre examined the minor before transferring her to Luwero hospital where she was enrolled on PEP and must now take two pills every day for the next two months.
“I gave that PEP to the child but the child is very very weak. She doesn’t want to drink, she doesn’t want to eat, every time she just wants to sleep,” the mother said.
The father’s victim says that apart from struggling to take the drugs, the minor is traumatized following the defilement. He has since asked the police and court to ensure that the suspect gets the maximum sentence for the offence.
“I’m extremely angry because my child has been forced to start taking pills every day – not because she deliberately engaged in unprotected sexual behaviour or that she was born HIV-positive. She’s going to live with this trauma for the rest of her life. The court must give this man the maximum sentence,” said the father.
Emmanuel Nsubuga, a local leader in Luwero town has condemned the rising cases of defilement in the area. He, however, says that only a few suspects are successfully prosecuted, which doesn’t deter others from committing the same.
Living Twazagye, the Luwero district police commander, says that the suspect is still in custody at Luwero Central police station. He says that police have already examined the suspect and the victim as part of the investigations into the case. Twazagye says that they have preferred charges of aggravated defilement against the suspect and forwarded his file to the resident state attorney for sanctioning.
According to the police crime report for 2021, Luwero registered 76 defilement cases and ranks in second position with the highest number of cases across the country. Mukono district came first after registering 100 cases.
Several cases remain unreported at police stations compared to reports from health centres. According to the Luwero district health report, at least 16,163 girls below the age of 19 years got pregnant in the 2020/21 financial year. Of these, 442 were below 15 years of age.