MBALE: The LCIII chairperson for Busoba Sub County in Mbale District has pledged to reward virgin girls between the ages of 15-18, starting April this year.
Mr Martin Shaka said during a stake holders meeting at the Sub county headquarters on Wednesday that teenagers who will be found still virgins in his area of jurisdiction will be rewarded for keeping themselves safe.
“It’s rare today to find a virgin girl, so those who have remained virgin must be appreciated,” Mr Shaka said.
Mr Shaka said he will work with medical personnel to carry out virginity tests every February to verify the beneficiaries of his initiative.
The virgins, according to him, will get scholastic items such as pens, books, and school bags among others as a token of appreciation for preserving themselves.
“This will motivate them to pursue their studies and the young ones will also emulate and at given time, we shall have a community full of virgins before marriage,” he said.
He explained that this will also help on reducing the rampant pre-marital sex cases that has caused high prevalence of HIV/ Aids and early marriages in the area.
However, Mr Kenneth Asaba, the child rights activists working with Innovation for Change, a community based organization in Mbale Town termed the chairperson remarks as regrettable and detrimental.
“That is discrimination which risks promoting victimization. We have girls who lose their virginity due defilement, rape and other circumstance beyond their capacity. It’s very wrong,” he said.
Mr Asaba urged the chairperson to withdraw his statement and abandon his intention.
He instead advised the chairperson to support campaigns in his community geared towards promoting girl-child education, fighting against HIV/AIDs and early marriages.
Ms Betty Nabuma, a community development says there are high cases of early pregnancies but most of them are never reported.
“On average, only 20 cases are reported annually,” she said.