intercepted 9 minors aged between 9 to 15 years in Mityana district destined for
Kampala to earn a living. According to the Police, the minors escaped from their parents and guardians citing mistreatment.
Rachel Kawala, the Wamala Region Police Spokesperson, says that the children were intercepted at Kikonge trading on their way from Mubende district.
She says that the children told police officers
during interrogation that they have been surviving on collecting empty plastic bottles to earn a living in the streets of Mubende where they
would earn Shillings 100 per kilogram but they were tipped of good prices in Kisenyi in Kampala where they could earn Shillings 300.
Cue out:… give parental guidance,”//
Kawala on juveniles
//Cue in: “Abaana bano…
Cue out:…omu ku babe,”//
Kawala in Luganda
Kawala says that the minors are being held at Mityana Police child and family protection unit as the force traces their
parents. She appealed to civil society workers and child rights activists to intervene and support
the children as the force looks
for their parents.
Two of the minors are Congolese nationals aged 15 and 11 years who left Kyaka II Refugee
Camp in Kyegegwa District. They claimed that their brother Kyandyojje
Usingemaana picked them from the camp
to relocate them to a rented house in Kyegegwa Town.
He, however, reportedly abandoned
them in the house without food after getting a causal job far away prompting the
landlord to evict them.
Also, in the group is a Rwandan teenager who claims to have entered Uganda with
her grandfather at six years of age.
She, however, says that her grandfather dumped
her in a rented house in Butoloogo, Mubende District, saying he would return for her in vain.
"Our landlord was kind enough. He took me to his home
to hell them with domestic chores for nine years. They never took me to school and I ran away when they started mistreating me,” she said.
Other minors from Mubende claim that they ran away from home because of torture
by their parents and guardians. The children claimed that their parents get
drunk every day and torture them whenever they get home.
One of the victims showed the officers scars on the back, right hand and eye that he reportedly
the torture by his parents. Criminal
responsibility in Uganda starts at 12
years of age. But authorities say that the absence of rehabilitation centres in the
the pursuit of juvenile justice.