Members of Parliament on the Select Committee on the Inquiry into allegations of Sexual Violence in schools and institutions have decried the high level of sexual harassment of young girls as a result of the poor cultural practices within the communities of Bundibugyo and Ntoroko district.
Speaking to the Local Government authorities of Bundibugyo district, Hon. Anthony Okello (Kioga County) pointed out that matters related to sexual harassment in institutions of learning is as a result of the poor cultural practices which have superseded the Uganda Constitution.
“The constitution was promulgated in 1995 but over 23 years now, the cultural practices here seem to be stronger than what the constitution provides because here it’s still okay to marry a girl of 10 years.” He said.
Hon. Katusabe Godfrey (Bukonjo County) reminded people of Bundibugyo that Uganda is governed on the constitution and therefore people have to follow the laws of Uganda which stipulate that a person below 18 years is still a child and therefore parents should stop marrying off such children.
“We have realized that people here live with a fact that a girl above 10 years is mature enough to be married, this must stop immediately because it’s a total bleach of the constitution,” He said.
He further called on parents to be realistic and stop using such poor cultural excuses which have been a road block to future doctors, teachers and leaders because children defiled or married off early automatically drop out of school.
He also called on the local leaders in the area to eradicate those unhealthy practices and informed them that this issue will be well articulated in the committee report so that parliament can pronounce itself on the issues and find possible solutions.
Hon. Gideon Onyango (Samia Bugwe North) also partly Blamed the poor boarder control to the rampant sexual offences in Bundibugyo where sexual offenders abuse children in Uganda and run to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Select Committee on the inquiry into allegations of Sexual Violence is still traversing other regions of the nation as they investigate allegations of Sexual Violence in schools and institutions.
On 12th April 2018, Hon. Adeke Anna Ebaju, the National Female Youth Representative presented a motion for a resolution of Parliament urging Government to inquire into allegations of Sexual Violence in Institutions of Learning in Uganda. The motion was debated, and Parliament unanimously agreed to institute a Select Committee to investigate allegations of Sexual Violence in Institutions of Learning in Uganda. During the sitting of Tuesday 14th August, 2018 the Rt. Hon. Speaker, Rebecca A. Kadaga appointed Members to constitute the Select Committee to investigate sexual violence in schools.