Victims of Suspected German Paedophile Stranded in Kalangala

5320 Views Kalangala, Uganda


At least nineteen of the twenty one alleged victims of a sexual abuse involving a Germany pedophile in Kalangala district have refused to return to their parents, a top Kalangala district official says.

The victims who had been relocated to Kampala were later returned to Kalangala to reunite with their parents after the closure of a Humanitarian NGO which was taking care of them. The NGO Ssese Humanitarian Service was headed by Bernhard Glaser Berry.

Glaser was arrested in November last year by a team of detectives from the special investigations unit and charged with aggravated defilement after two children under his care accused him of sexual abuse. The minors aged between 12 and 14, claimed that Glaser had repeatedly defiled them since 2007.

During the operation in which he was arrested, police recovered a dildo and lubricants that he allegedly applied to the victims before defiling them. Subsquenltly 21 suspected victims of Glaser’s act were also relocated to Kampala for safe custody.

Police last week retuned to Kalangala 19 of the children who had been relocated to Kampala. However, only three of the nineteen have agreed to return to their parents. The juveniles are aged between 8 years to 16 years.

Willy Lugoloobi, the Kalangala District LC5 Chairman who is also the former district probation officer says although Ssese Humanitarian Service is no longer operating, nineteen children are still stranded there after refusing to go back to their parents.

Lugoloobi explains that majority of these children were picked from their parents who had allegedly abused them.  He explains that the children are traumatized and find Glaser’s organization safer than their homes.

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Lugoloobi fears that the allegations against Glaser may be a result of a cultural clash with the populace in Kalangala. He explains that since 2010, Kalangala community has been raising concern over the manner in which Glaser embraced, pecked and kissed the young children under his care.

Lugoloobi says although this appears strange and abominable among Ugandans, it was normal for Glaser.

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According to Daniel Kikoola, the Ssese Humanitarian Service Board Chairperson, majority of the children are victims of sexual violence subjected to them by their parents, teachers and local leaders.  He says they are not willing to go back to their tormentors.

He says they are waiting for a court decision to see if the organization will be allowed to continue taking care of these children.

Kikoola also says the operation license, work permit and most of the legal documents that allowed Ssese Humanitarian Service to operate were seized by police.

Patrick Kasumba, Glaser’s lawyer claims that his client could die from Masaka Central Prison where he is admitted due to lack of proper medication.

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Glaser is expected to return to Masaka High Court on January 13th for a final decision on his bail application.


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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.