Society - East Africa - Uganda - Religion - Sexuality
Catholic priests in Uganda could face life for underage sex
Uganda’s minister of ethics and integrity, James Nsaba Buturo has called on security agencies and Ugandans at large to get rid of immoral catholic priests who have gone on rampage defiling under age girls in the country.

James Nsaba Buturo’s reaction follows an order by the director of public prosecution, Richard Butera that the Catholic priest who recently defiled two under age girls and possibly infected them with HIV-AIDs be arrested and taken to court to answer charges of defilement and intentionally infecting minors with HIV AIDs.

According to the penal code of Uganda, if found guilty the priest could be sentenced to life imprisonment.

Nsaba Buturo said, "No one is above the law in Uganda. The society should rise up against such priests. Ugandans should do all that is possible to guard their moral values."

The director of public prosecution, Richard Butera said, "Evidence is sufficient to charge Rev. Father Santos Constantino Wapokura. That matter is clear. He should be charged."

Father Wapokura reportedly wanted the case to be settled out of court with the parents of the affected girls but the director of criminal investigations department in Uganda police, Edward Ochom said the settlement cannot be accepted.

Said Ochom, "A matter like this cannot be settled out of court. The priest should be left to the hook of the court."

Wapokura, 45, is accused of defiling a 14 yr girl who was serving in the church. He was arrested mid last month in Nebbi district where his church is located, 400 north west of Kampala, the Ugandan capital, but was released by area police saying that the matter could be settled out of court.

Women activists in Uganda complained bitterly about his release which has led to new directives to re-arrest him. They argue that several such cases involving catholic priests have been taking place in Uganda at regular intervals.

In the last one year 5 catholic priests have been involved in similar scandals. One was caught in central Uganda town of Masaka sleeping with two underage girls in a lodge.

But somehow such cases have been covered up by police and the church. Some Christians blame the Bishops for not being keen to ensure that all priests behave well.

"The bishops are wasting most of their time criticizing the president and government officials instead of dealing with church affairs. They have enough on their plates but instead they are getting involved in secular politics." said one Ugandan Christian critic, Paul Mbedde.


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