In the wake of disturbing reports of sexual harassment, particularly defilement cases, in Jinja and across the region, the Kiira Region Police have launched a comprehensive manpower headcount. This initiative aims to assess the strength of their forces and address deployment gaps to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of policing. The urgent need for such measures has become evident due to the alarming increase in defilement and rape cases in both Jinja district and Jinja city.
The decision to undertake this proactive approach follows the arrest of an 18-year-old unlicensed teacher, Cohen Maganda, who was apprehended for allegedly defiling one of his primary seven students at Green Trust Primary School in Buwera village, Buwenge rural sub-county, Jinja district. The suspect, who had been on the run, was discovered hiding in a sugarcane plantation.
Over the course of just one month, the police have arrested several suspects in connection with defilement cases. Collin Idude, an 18-year-old resident of Yuuka village in Buwenge rural sub-county, was arraigned in Jinja magistrate court and charged with aggravated defilement, as he was allegedly HIV positive. Julius Mutoigo, aged 22 and a resident of Kyelinda in Buwenge town council, had his file sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Jinja city for possible sanctions. He faces charges of aggravated defilement, involving a 10-year-old victim. Addu Mathura, 22, is under investigation for engaging in a relationship with a 17-year-old minor. Edward Mukasa, an 18-year-old resident of Mutai central in Jinja district, is also facing defilement charges, with his victim being 17 years old. Ronald Maganda, another 18-year-old resident of Yuuka village in Jinja district, is facing defilement charges, with the victim being 17 years old. Reports suggest that these suspects, who are currently detained at Jinja Central Police station, are sugarcane cutters who exploited underage girls by offering them gifts such as chapati and financial incentives, typically around 3000 shillings.
During an interactive meeting with the Buwenge workforce at Buwenge Parents Primary School, SSP Rogers Sseguya, the Kiira Region police commander (RPC), stressed the determination of the police force to combat capital offenses like defilement. He reaffirmed the commitment of the police to curbing unlawful sexual practices and protecting children from such harassment. Plans are also underway to conduct stakeholder meetings with Hajji David Omboko, the Chairperson of the Busoga Sugarcane Growers Association, to organize sugarcane cutters and sensitize them about the dangers of defilement and other criminal activities.
During the meeting, several key areas of concern were addressed, including discipline, pass leave, maternity leave, teamwork, alertness, proper case file management, hygiene, and sanitation. Police land management, timely sharing of incident reports, customer service, and public relations were also emphasized. RPC Sseguya highlighted the importance of collaborating with stakeholders, particularly local leaders, to combat the emerging crime of motorcycle robbery, particularly in areas such as Kagoma and Muguluka. Additionally, he advocated for community engagement meetings targeting all boda boda stages in Jinja district to enhance security awareness and cooperation among the community members.