By Chris Kiwawulo and Edward Kayiwa
The officer in charge of the government-owned Lweza rehabilitation center in Wakiso district faces life imprisonment for allegedly defiling a 16-year-old deaf girl.
Richard Kityo, the administrator of the rehabilitation center has been charged with defiling the 16-year-old deaf student (name withheld), who was under his custody at the school premises in Lweza zone “A. Kityo is now facing charges of aggravated defilement.
According to court records seen by New Vision, Kityo, a 33-year-old married man, allegedly took advantage of the minor in the evening of April 8, 2013 in his office at the rehabilitation center.
Kityo is the administrative head of the government-owned institution that is being run under the ministry of gender, labour and social development.
One of the students, Fahad Jjumba, reportedly found Kityo with the naked girl in his office before he tipped off other teachers who reported the matter to Police and the gender ministry.
However, Kityo disappeared on the fateful day only to return the following day with officers from Kajjansi police station to arrest Jjumba over claims that he (Jjumba) was the one who had instead defiled the girl.
It took the intervention of the Ntinda-based association of the deaf and higher authorities in police to release Jjumba, also a minor with disability. Kityo was consequently arrested, charged and he is currently on interdiction pending the outcome of the case.
According to a charge sheet signed by detective superintendent of Police David Ibanda from Kajjansi police station dated April 20, 2013, Kityo on April 8, 2013 while at Lweza rehabilitation centre performed a sexual act with a 16-year-old girl who was under his authority.
However, Kityo was granted bail on October 30, 2013 at Nakawa court upon paying a cash bond of sh1m and depositing his passport number B0684142 in a case that is before Justice Wilson Musene.
Three sureties including Kityo’s wife and mother of their two children, Milly Ayesiga, stood surety for him and agreed to forfeit a non-cash bond of sh2m each in case the accused disappears.
“…, given that he is a civil servant who presented sureties and in view of innocence under the constitution, I am obliged to grant bail to the applicant,” the judge’s ruling read in part.
Despite the ongoing case against Kityo, Jjumba has since been re-arrested under unclear circumstances, charged and sent to Kigo prison where he is on remand over alleged defilement charges.
Kityo’s release on bail has, however, sparked off criticism the community with some residents saying he could easily interfere with investigations and threaten those willing to testify against him.
Defilement and rape continue to be the most persistent form of child abuse even though government amended the laws to have tougher punishments for sex offenders.
In 2012, defilement cases with a 5% increase was the leading sex related crime reported in the country with a total 8,076 compared to 7,690 cases in 2011. This means at least 22 children were defiled in 2012 every day.
In December last year, a German national was arrested in Kalangala for allegedly sexually abusing girls under his care, using a non-governmental organization that provides technical and health education to disadvantaged girls as a pretext.
The Penal Code defines defilement as the act of having sexual intercourse with a child who is below the age of 18. However, in cases where the victim has been infected with HIV/AIDS, when she is below 14 years, has a disability, has been defiled by a guardian or keeper, the offence is categorized as aggravated defilement.