Elderly Persons Accused of Using SAGE Funds To Defile Girls

2444 Views Kiboga, Uganda

In short
It could have been money meant to socially empower elderly people, but some men in Kiboga district have used the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) to lure and defile underage girls.

It could have been money meant to socially empower elderly people, but some men in Kiboga district have used the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) to lure and defile underage girls.
 
Seventy-year old Elifazi Ssendyose, a resident of Mpunduguru village in Muwanga sub-county, is in police custody for allegedly defiling an 11 year old girl.
 
Ssendyose was arrested on Monday and taken to Kiboga police station. When he was interrogated, the suspect admitted to having lured the girl into sex five times using part of the monthly earnings under the SAGE program. The elderly people in 14 pilot districts are paid at least 23,000 shillings monthly under the program.
 
Ssendyose says on top of giving his victim hard cash, he could buy meat and some good food and then invite her to his home to prepare it.
 
Godfrey Emojong, the district criminal investigations chief, says that the arrest of Ssendyose comes barely two weeks after Yokana Konabo aged 90 and from the same village was arrested for allegedly defiling a six year old girl. Incidentally, both victims are sisters.
 
Emojong explains that Konabo had also admitted to using his monthly pay under SAGE to lure his victim.
 
Emojong says that a few months ago, police had an incident where another SAGE beneficiary attempted to defile his own daughter after he took a lot of alcohol.
 
 
Emojong says that the policy implementation should change if the program is to meet its intended objectives.
 
He says older persons with criminal record should instead be given physical items such as Sugar, soap and salt, among others since whenever they get the money they are pushed back to their criminal ways.
 
Alex Bamuchaye, the Kiboga district information officer, however, says this has nothing to do with the government program saying such people are just criminals. 
 
SAGE program was launched in 2011 for the elderly and vulnerable families as social protection to eliminate abject poverty.
 
Kiboga is part of the 14 districts selected to pilot the project. Others are Kyankwanzi, Kyenjojo, Apac, Amudat, Kole, Moroto, Nakapiripirit, Kyegegwa, Katakwi, Napak, Kaberamaido, Nebbi and Zombo.