Some of the residents standing at the entrance of Kalangala Central Police Station. PHOTO | SYLVESTER SSEMUGENYI
By SYLVESTER SSEMUGENYI
A family in the island district of Kalangala has put police on the spot for reportedly releasing a suspected defiler before even arraigning him in court.
The suspect was arrested a couple of weeks ago from Mwena Landing Site and detained at Kalangala Central Police Station.
According to Ms Proscovia Nakimbugwe, a resident in Kalangala Town and mother to the victim aged 14; the suspect was arrested after a pregnancy test confirmed that her daughter had conceived.
“When my daughter disclosed the name of the man responsible for the pregnancy, we started tracing for culprit together with my husband and local leaders until we spotted him at Mwena Landing site,” she said on Monday.
Ms Nakimbugwe said that initially when they reported the case to Kalangala Central Police Station, they were instead told to arrest the suspect and take him to police, which they did.
The suspect recorded a statement but was reported missing from police cells weeks later. Advertisement
“The case was filed and we were waiting for the court process to start, but we got surprised when police officers at the station informed us that the suspect had escaped from their custody,” she added.
Kalangala deputy Resident District Commissioner, Ms Sarah Nanyanzi, said the suspect could have been released on police bond together with suspects on minor cases, to decongest the cells as a measure to combat the spread of Covid-19.
She, however, urged the victim’s family to remain calm as police hunt for the suspect.
However, a source privy to the matter at Kalangala Central Police Station told Daily Monitor that the suspect bribed police officers that were on night duty and got released.
Mr Willy Nkumbi, the Kalangala District senior probation officer, said this is not the first time suspects who have committed capital offences disappear from police custody.
“We need deep investigations into that matter to find out how the suspect escaped otherwise, the community is going to lose trust in the police,” he said.
Defilement is an act of having sexual intercourse with a person below the age of 18. On conviction, the offender is liable to life imprisonment sentence or death for aggravated defilement.