By Donald Kiirya
JINJA - Thirty two police stations from eight districts in Busoga Sub region have received case management materials geared towards curbing Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the region.
The materials were handed over to district Police commanders from the eight districts of Jinja, Iganga, Mayuge, Namutumba, Kamuli, Buyende, Kaliro and Burigi.
Handing over the materials at YMCA Annex in Jinja on Thursday, Rita Aciro Lakor, the Executive Director of Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET) said the support was funded by Irish Aid adding that UWONET donated stationery.
“UWONET hopes that the stationery will enhance the role of the Police in GBV case management and data management so as to inform national policy, planning and intervention to address this endemic problem as well as health workers in effective and appropriate handling of GBV survivors so as to support the pursuance of justice,” Aciro said while addressing stakeholders in a half day workshop at YMCA Annex.
Aciro said UWONET remains committed to partnerships meant to mitigate gender inequalities as well as gender based violence and contributing to a reduction in injustices against women.
“I urge policy makers, duty bearers, medical workers, parents and the ordinary citizen to make a commitment to eliminate Gender Based Violence in Busoga and Country at large,” Aciro said.
Judith Nakalembe, the UWONET Coordinator in Kamuli district said annual Police crime records show alarmingly high numbers of defilement and rape which increase vulnerabilities of women and girls to physical and sexual violence, sexually transmitted infection including HIV, unwanted pregnancies, and teenage pregnancies.
Nakalembe revealed that rape and defilement cases are high in Namutumba Kaliro and Buyende and singled out defilement which she sad is being commercialized.
“Parents side with other duty bearers like Police officers to extract money from defilement suspects. In Kamuli 46% of cases we receive at our shelter centre are defilement cases but I urge Police to act professionally and with transparency while handling the cases,” Nakalembe said.
She added that some times the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) at district levels really frustrate cases of defilement.
Nakalembe also blamed village Local Council chairpersons for being part of negotiations in these defilement cases adding that the cases are being commercialized which is a challenge to UWONET.
Joseph Opwona, the director of CIID who represented the Inspector General of Police (IGP) said requested Police officers to change their method or attitude of work and cautioned them to stop asking for money while handling defilement cases.
Present was Paul Balidawa the Jinja district L.C 5 Vice chairperson, Eric Sakwa the Jinja deputy RDC and Eriab Byegumya the deputy CAO of Jinja district.