Defilement Suspect Reveals Harrowing Tale of Forged HIV Results and Justice Denied

1917 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
A suspect at Katojo prison narrates his ordeal about how his HIV results were altered in order that a charge of aggravated defilement could be raised against him.

A criminal suspect at Katojo Prison in Fort Portal has revealed that his HIV test results were changed in order to slap him with a capital offence.
On Tuesday morning child defilement suspect Steven Rwabyomere told officials from the Judicial Service Commission who visited the prison of the abuse he suffered at the hands of a corrupt police system.
Rwabyomere was arrested last year for defiling his 12-year-old cousin sister. He was taken to Fort Portal Referral Hospital for an HIV test, where he said his uncle bribed police officers to change his results from negative to positive.
Rwabyomere claimed that his uncle wanted to get rid of him because he found that he was selling the family property. He said he was framed for defilement and insult was added to injury with the forged HIV results.
Dressed in a yellow prison uniform, Rwabyomere wept as he narrated his ordeal. The commissioner, who included the education and public affairs registrar Michael Elubu, Damalie Lwanga from the Directorate of Public Prosecution and eastern regional police commander Moses Wagabaza, were stunned into silence by the testimony.
Steven Rwabyomere said he has since been tested for HIV five times at Katojo Prison health center. Each time his results have come back negative.
This claim was verified by Gervase Tumuhimbise, the officer in charge of the prison and Mark Mugisa who heads the health centers. The Judicial Service Commission officers received copies of the health certificates.
Michael Elubu said he was shocked by what he had heard. He tasked the Resident State Attorney’s office to investigate the matter before the suspect is taken to court.
The Judicial Service Commission team was inundated by requests for a special hearing from the more than 600 prisoners at Katojo. Some of them attempted to present a written document of their grievances to Elubu. They were initially presented from doing so by the prison warders, but when the team intervened, the letter was handed over.
The contents of the document were not revealed to the media.
# # #


About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.