Uganda: Minister closes school boarding section after homosexuality reports

The State Minister for Primary Education, Dr Joyce Moriku Kaducu, has indefinitely suspended the boarding section at Mubende Public Model Primary School after seven pupils were reportedly sodomised by a warden.

According to Dr Kaducu, the boarding section was congested with pupils sleeping on outlawed triple-deck bunk beds – which provide a fertile ground for evil acts like homosexuality. At least 350 pupils, the majority in the nursery section and Primary Seven were housed in five small rooms.

“I want you to tell the parents that you have been operating an illegal boarding section and no guidelines were being followed. I guess that is why homosexuality has been thriving in the dormitories. How can you let children sleep in that manner?” the minister angrily questioned as she ordered the school management to close the boarding section on Friday.

The minister said in each dormitory, pupils were sleeping two on one bed, which is illegal.

The minister also faulted officials in Mubende Municipality’s education department for not doing their work of inspecting schools.

“This boarding section could have been closed a long time ago if the local authorities were doing their work,” she said

The minister’s intervention came days after police in the area arrested a warden at the school after seven boys accused him of sodomising them.

According to Ms Rosemary Byabasaija, the Mubende Resident District Commissioner, a parent at the school on Wednesday came to his office claiming that his 13 -year- old son was sodomized by a warden at the school.

“I convened a district security committee and we invited the parents and the school management and the administration openly admitted that it is true the warden had carnal knowledge with a Primary Seven pupil and the school is currently footing his treatment costs,” she said.

After the security meeting, Ms Byabasaija said she ordered police to immediately arrest the suspect who was later taken to court where he pleaded guilty and was remanded to Kaweeri Prison pending sentencing.

Ms Byabasaija, said efforts are being made to help the seven victims with psychosocial support.

Mr Kakooza, the father of one of the victims, said his son was physically and emotionally tortured and fears all men that go to him.

“My son is still feeling much pain however much he is on treatment. He even has bruises on the neck, meaning he was being forced into this evil act,” he said.

He accused the school administration of promoting unnatural behaviours in school and wanted to silence the mother of the boy with Shs1 million.

Mr James Bangirana, the school head teacher declined to comment about the matter.

This comes days after the Members of Parliament on March 20 passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023, with a last-minute introduction of death as the penalty for offenders convicted of aggravated homosexuality.

Any Ugandan who fails to report acts of homosexuality faces a fine of Shs100m or imprisonment for six months. However, a person who intentionally makes false or misleading allegations against another person to the effect that the person has committed an offence under this Act faces a year in prison. The Act, which awaits Presidential assent, also bans a person convicted of the offence of homosexuality or aggravated homosexuality from employment in a childcare institution, while ex-convicts of the said offences will have to disclose such records to prospective employers.

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