In the West Nile region, the police have recorded a total of 171 defilement cases in the first five months of this year. Among these cases, June had the highest number, with 45 girls falling victim, followed by March with 29 cases, May with 28, and January with 27. April and February had the lowest figures, recording 17 and 25 cases, respectively.
Josephine Angucia, the spokesperson for the West Nile Region Police, stated that a significant number of these cases have been taken to court, while others are still being investigated.
She attributed the prevalence of defilement cases in the region to poverty and negative cultural norms that perceive girls as a means to generate family wealth.
Initial findings from the police reveal that boda boda cyclists, particularly in urban areas of the West Nile region, are the primary perpetrators of defilement cases. These individuals take advantage of underage schoolgirls who are entrusted to their care by their parents and commit acts of defilement.
A recent incident occurred on Saturday, July 1, 2023, in Ayivu division, Arua city, where a boda boda rider named Isaac Econi allegedly defiled a 15-year-old girl. Elmahad Salim Mawa, the chairperson of the Arua city boda boda association, strongly condemned the actions of these irresponsible boda boda cyclists, accusing them of damaging the reputation of the industry.
Mawa appealed to boda boda cyclists to abstain from engaging in criminal activities.
According to the Penal Code Act, defilement is defined as engaging in unlawful sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 18. The convicted individual is subject to a potential life sentence.