The High court has remanded Moses Kakooza aka Aldo Mpanga to Luzira prison on charges of defiling four pupils of Step by Step primary school in Nansana, Wakiso district.
Kakooza was remanded by justice Richard Wejuli Wabwire after reading for him 18 charges including aggravated trafficking, indecent assault, and aggravated defilement.
Court heard that Kakooza between 2019 and 2020 at Step by Step P/S in Wakiso, being a person in authority over children aged 11 and 17 years performed sexual acts with the girls and unlawfully and indecently assaulted them.
The court further heard that Kakooza did this by means of deception, force, or abuse of power or position of vulnerability for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Evidence before the court shows that between 2019 and 2020, Kakooza was a teacher at Step by Step, teaching primary six and seven who also trained the children to sing and dance, and that he rented a house at the school.
He used to train selected children to dance and sing at his home or in the classrooms where he would buy for the children eats and alcohol that included Eagle and Smirnoff Ice beers. Records show that during the COVID-19 lockdown, he used to pick up the children from their homes for training. His troubles started when he dropped one of the victims at her parent’s home late and the mother demanded an explanation from the school bursar.
Records indicate that the mother of the victim was warned to keep her daughter away from the teacher because he allegedly molests children.
“In March 2021, the victim got sick and the mother suspected she was pregnant. Upon interrogation, she revealed that the accused used to train them and also took them to functions to perform,” reads the summary of the case.
It adds that “he also used to take them to Timeless Bar in Yesu Amala and buy for them Smirnoff or he took them for swimming”.
Prosecution says the accused had made a partitioned cubicle in primary five where he put a TV and video player. In the third term of 2019, the accused took one of the victims to the cubicle where he gave her water to drink and she lost consciousness. Later, the victim woke up with pain in her vagina and suspected the accused to have been molested.
“That the accused had previously asked her for sex which she declined yet still that the accused took her to his house on several occasions and had sexual intercourse with her. That he had threatened to kill her if she ever disclosed,” reads the documents.
The matter was later reported to Florence Nakiwala, the then state minister for Youth and Children Affairs, RDC Wakiso, and to Nansana police. However, by then the accused had applied for and been given a teaching job at Nansana Muslim primary school.
Evidence further shows that he was found living with one of the victims whom he had picked from her parents in 2018, saying he was assisting her with paying fees. According to the DPP, Kakooza also changed the victim’s name so as to cover up his actions and dupe the people that she was her own child.
The children were examined and found to have ruptured hymens and Kakooza was found to be an adult of sound mental status. After reading him the charges, Kakooza said he understood them. Justice Wabwire asked the prosecution which was being represented by senior state attorney Jacquelyn Okui and defense lawyer Geoffrey Turyamusiima to put in written submissions as to whether the charges against Kakooza should be confirmed.
The judge ordered that the submissions be done by December 4, 2023, and the ruling will be delivered on notice. Kakooza has been sent back on remand until then. Cases of sexual exploitation of children in Wakiso district are common.
In 2022, the international crimes division retired judge David Wangutusi sentenced Didas Mpagi, the former headteacher of Real Infant primary school in Wakiso district to serve life imprisonment for sodomizing six boys in his school.
He had been found guilty of six counts of aggravated defilement and trafficking of children. The court heard that between 2016 and 2019, Mpagi, a youth pastor and guardian or a person in authority of over six children aged between 10 and 16 years used them to perform unnatural sexual acts.