UGANDA: GANG-RAPE VICTIM FROM NAKABAALE VILLAGE DIES
12 FEBRUARY 2015
Lydia Nakawala, a 14-year-old from Nakabaale village in Waibuga Sub-County died on Sunday the 08 February 2015 as a result of injuries suffered during a gang rape which has occurred earlier the same day.
Nakawala was a student in primary six at Waibuga Muslim Primary School. Residents in the village say she was gang-raped in the afternoon as she was returning home from her family’s potato fields.
Police in Luuka district, where Waibuga Sub-County is located, have arrested two out of three men accused. Humaru Mukose, 20 years, and Juma Mukose, 22 years ,were in hiding in nearby Iganga town after the incident. The third suspect is identified only as Sasi, and his whereabouts are still unknown.
A resident who spoke to SIHA said that the victim had been carrying a basket of potatoes and going back home when she was pulled into the bush by three men and subjected to gang-rape. The resident added that by the time rescue had arrived, the perpetrators had fled.
Nakawala was hospitalized immediately but died shortly after her admission into Iganga Hospital where she was feeling pain in the abdomen and had bruises around her neck and across her chest. The postmortem report carried out on the deceased showed that the girl had severe bladder damage in addition to other complications linked to the rape.
The case of Nakawala is the second rape case to be registered in Waibuga Sub-County in Luuka District within the last three months; another girl was raped at Busaalamu village.
More recently, police officers in Luuka District arrested a primary school teacher for defiling and forcibly marrying a 16 year old girl. The teacher, Arafat Musana, is 30 years old and has been hiding with the girl in Bulanga town in Luuka District since last year, when his relationship with the girl became known at Green Valley Primary School in Namutumba District.
The girl had reported to the police at Bulanga police station that Musana had assaulted her leading to his arrest.
SIHA Calls on District Officials and the Government of Uganda to:
- Act vigorously to prevent all forms of sexual violence by sustaining pressure on the judiciary system, specifically in Luuka District, to prosecute the case of the late Lydia Nakawala and other girls who have suffered the same fate.
- Allocate much-needed resources into enhancing and protecting women and girls in Uganda from SGBV by raising-awareness through the different media outlets.
- Train teachers and educators on protection mechanisms as they are key actors who could raise the awareness of their students.
- Make increased investments in youth recreation and recreational shared spaces where children of both genders can safely interact and lay foundations for future mutual respect and peaceful coexistence.
The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) is a coalition of over 80 women’s civil society organisations from across the Horn countries inclusive of Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Somaliland, Eritrea and Uganda. The organisation works on women’s access to justice, promoting and protecting women’s human rights, activating women’s political participation and supporting economic empowerment.