Defilement cases top the list of criminal cases to be tried at the Masaka High Court criminal session which kicks off next month.
Justice Flavian Zeija is expected to preside over the one-month-long criminal session which opens on April 4 and will handle 44 cases for the Masaka High Court magisterial area. A total of 26 defilement cases will be tried at the criminal session compared to murder (12), rape (3) and aggravated robbery (3).
The prosecution team will be led by the Resident State Attorney, David Bakibinga along with other state attorneys.
Speaking to Daily Monitor at the weekend, Mr Bakibinga revealed that defilement cases are on the increase in the sub-region and attributed this to drug abuse among youth.
“Every year, when we conduct criminal sessions, defilement cases are more compared to other cases and most of the people who are convicted over this offence are said to have performed sexual acts on juveniles between the age of 4 to 13,” Mr Bakibinga explained.
He attributed other defilement cases to negligence by parents, saying: “Some parents allow their daughters to walk long distances to fetch water without the company of elder people while some are left to go into night clubs. This is very dangerous.”
Survey. A recent survey entitled: “Status on child protection in Rakai District” revealed that at least 306 girls were defiled in the district last year.
Stigma. There is a lot of stigma surrounding defilement, especially since family members and people close to the victims are the culprits. Many victims choose to suffer in silence and do not report the cases to authorities.