Mother Faints after Finding 13-Year-old Daughter Involved in Commercial Sex Work

8836 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
The single mother who was shocked by news notified police and a search ensued for the girl on Wednesday evening. Wolinawe was surprised and dropped unconscious when she found her daughter in the company of three commercial workers transacting business.

A woman in Masaka district whose 13-year-old daughter disappeared from home two weeks ago, has fainted after finding her red handed engaged in commercial sex work.

Judith Wolinawe, a resident of Kasaka village in Buwunga Sub County lost  consciousness for several minutes on Wednesday night after she found her daughter in the company of three other teenage commercial sex workers outside Safari Lodge, a popular night spot in Nyendo. The minor is a primary seven candidate at St. Barnabas Mugamba primary school in Buwunga Sub County.

It is alleged that the girl whose names have been withheld because she is a minor, escaped from her aunt Molly Kiconco, a resident of Lyantonde two weeks ago.

As a result, Wolinawe launched a hunt for her daughter fearing that she could have been kidnapped.

Wolinawe explains that she received a phone call on Tuesday from someone notifying that her daughter had been seen at Safari Lodge. The lodge is a popular night spot for commercial sex workers. 

The single mother who was shocked by the news notified police and a search ensued for the girl on Wednesday evening.

Wolinawe was shocked and lost consciousness after she found her daughter in the company of three commercial workers transacting business. The girl was picked up by police but her colleagues took advantage of the confusion to flee into hiding. 

Norman Kabugu, a neighbor to Safari Lodge, claims that he had seen the minors calling for customers. Kabugu says that he was surprised that when police carried out an operation and arrested several commercial workers, the minor was not picked up. 

However, the minor told URN that she was invited by Shakira Kyomuhendo to work with her and earn some money. She apologized for her conduct saying she was willing to return to school.

Christine Namawube, the officer in Charge of Nyendo Police Station, says they would give the minor ten strokes of the cane and hand her back to her mother.  Namawube says police is hunting for the three other suspects for luring a minor into commercial sex work,  an illegal activity. 

Henry Busuulwa, the chairperson Masaka Municipality Social Services Committee, claims that many children as young as 13 have joined the commercial sex trade in the district. He says during a recent monitoring exercise they found at least six teenager commercial workers at Bukeeri and Safari lodge. Busulwa wants police to close all lodges found using teenagers as waitresses, where they are later lured into commercial sex.

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Joseph Mugerwa, a resident of Nyendo has blames parents for entrusting their children with relatives. He argues that if Wolinawe had not sent her daughter to her sister in Lyantonde, she wouldn't have found her way into wrong groups.

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By the time of filing this report, Masaka Municipal council had instructed Wilson Kizza, the Municipal Community Development Officer to launch an operation to arrest all teenage commercial sex workers. 


About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.