Kooki cultural institution is concerned about the prevalence
of sexual abuse including forced marriages and widow-inheritance, which are
still common in some parts of the Chiefdom. Kooki chiefdom shares similar
geographical boundaries with Rakai district.
Its population comprises people from different tribes including,
Baganda, Bakiga, Banyoro, Baziba, Banyarwanda and Bafumbira among others. A
section of these still cherish primitive cultural practices such as widow
inheritance and forced marriages, which often young girls.
Godfrey Kimbugwe, the Kooki Chiefdom Deputy Prime Minister
and Rakai District Community Development Officer, says some people in the chiefdom
are still stuck with these old practices.
He says that although the Kooki Institution doesn’t espouse some of the practices but the apparent tribal
diversity among the residents gave them an opportunity to flourish.
He says such practices are practised in the remote sub-counties of Kibanda, Kacheera, Ddwaniro, Kiziba and Kyalurangira.
teenage girls are still being pursued and dragged into marriage, adding until
are impregnated their captors don’t present themselves to their parents.
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He says that as a cultural institution, they have worked out a comprehensive
strategy to eliminate all forms of social injustices committed in the area,
especially those related to culture.
He explains that on top of establishing
partnerships with civil society organizations and using local government
structures, the chiefdom also intends to tap into the opportunity of their
recently acquired radio station to complement their efforts to eliminate the
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John Kasiiba one of the loyalists of Kooki chiefdom and resident of Lwamaggwa sub-county, says their biggest task now is to convince parents in the remote
areas to start attaching value to the education of the girl children.
He says many
parents are still stuck with primitive practices including holding girls as
assets that can be exchanged for material wealth. Kasiiba says that they are after creating a society where
people can come out openly to condemn and resist any practices that lead to
violation of human rights especially against children.
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The 2018 report on the girl-child rights in Rakai district by World Divisio
shows 408 girls were defiled. The majority entered into marriage and got
pregnant when they were still below age.