Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Police is on the spot for asking parents in Church Zone village in Kamwokya in Kampala Central Division whose children were allegedly sodomised to contribute for their medical examination.
At least nine children are said to have been sodomised by 30-year-old Simon Twesigye, one of the area residents. He was arrested last week after his 7-year-old victim confessed to having been severely sexually abused.
Upon reporting the matter to Kira Road Police, both the children and parents recorded statements and were reportedly asked to contribute Shillings 30,000 for the medical examination.
This is contrary to a directive issued by the Inspector General of Police, Martins Okoth Ochola in January stopping officers from asking victims of sexual and gender based crimes for medical examination.
“No Police surgeon or medical officers should again charge members of the public fees for conducting post mortem and medical examinations on survivors of sexual crimes,” reads the January 3rd, 2018 notice addressed to District and Regional Police Commanders.
70-year-old Mariam Tokosa, a guardian to one of the victims told URN that she almost gave up on the matter, since she couldn’t raise the money for the medical examination of her grandson.
She says residents managed to raise Shillings 15,000 and the area chairman person promised to top it up.
She explained that she handed the money that was raised by residents to a police officer in the Child and Family Protection Unit at Kira road police station.
Annah Tatyambera, a food vendor and neighbor to one the affected families, disclosed that her colleague didn’t have money and they only managed to raise Shillings 15,000 for the medical examination.
Stephen Ssemanda alias Mivule, a resident and businessman in Church Area village, told URN that he is among those who arrested the suspect as he tried to escape after it was rumored that he was wanted to answer for his crime.
Ssemanda says all parents were demoralized when they returned from the police station after they were asked to facilitate the medical examination of their children.
Ssemanda accused the officers of lack of transparency and asked government to increase their salaries, which he suspects could be the reason they ask for such contributions.
James Kakooza, the LC I chairperson of Church Zone area confirms that parents were asked to pay for the medical examination of the victims.
Kakooza says he contributed some money to help the parents to foot the bill until an unnamed Samaritan.
Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga told URN on phone that it was wrong for officers at Kira road police station to demand money for the medical examination from the victim’s families.
Enanga also disclosed that police has been struggling to facilitate police surgeons especially in lower courts to give expert opinion in defense of their medical reports due to limited funding.