Over 15 Minor Offenders Missing Court Sessions Due to Lack of Transport

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However, Elly Magwara, the Kasese Vice chairperson opposed the construction of a remand home in the district and instead proposed the construction of rehabilitation center. According to Magwara, most of the children are in conflict with the law due to lack of counseling and guidance.

More than 15 minor offenders in Rwenzori region are languishing in jail due to lack of transport to take them to and from court, the state prosecutor Michael Kwesiga has revealed. According to Kwesiga, the minor offenders are expected to appear before the magistrate's court but their files are unattended to due to lack of transport.

 
Kwesiga disclose this during a dialogue organized by Karambi Action for Life Improvement - KALI, a nongovernmental organization advocating for the rights of children as part of the commemoration of the Day of the African Child. According to Kwesigye, Kitumba Remand Home in Fort portal lacks reliable means of transport to take the minor offenders to appear in courts of law in the different districts in the region.

 
Kitumba Remand Home holds juveniles from all the seven districts in Rwenzori sub-region and greater Bushenyi districts. He appealed to the local governments in the region to help transport the minors to court so that their cases are heard and disposed of to reduce congestion in the remand home.



Wilson Asaba, the Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Kasese district pledged to avail a vehicle for the transportation of the children from Fort Portal to the Kasese Magistrate's court, adding that support used to be there until the vehicle of the community service department broke down.

 

During the dialogue, participants tasked Kasese district to coordinate with the Gender, Labour and Social Development Ministry to avail funds for the construction of a remand home in the district.  In its report KALI, also called for the construction of a remand home in Kasese. KALI's Jovia Kabugho said most children in conflict with the law in Kasese take several weeks without appearing before a magistrate just because they are being held from a far.

 
However, Elly Magwara, the Kasese Vice chairperson opposed the construction of a remand home in the district and instead proposed the construction of rehabilitation center. According to Magwara, most of the children are in conflict with the law due to lack of counseling and guidance.  He said the rehabilitation center will be a reference point for parents with unruly children.



 
A few months ago, Kasese district was ranked as the highest contributor of juvenile offenders being held at Fort Portal remand home. Sowedi Kitanywa, the Kasese District Probation Officer blamed the high number of minor offenders in the district to the high population. He mentioned the common offenses involving children as theft, child to child sex and battering among others.