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Priest Remains in Custody As 16 Homosexuality Victims Undergo HIV Tests

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A priest accused of sodomising 16 primary school pupils remains in custody, nine days after he was arrested. Julius Ssemaganda, the Church of Uganda priest attached to Buzza Church of Uganda, was arrested last week.
A priest accused of sodomising 16 primary school pupils remains in custody, nine days after he was arrested.

 

Julius Ssemaganda, the Church of Uganda priest attached to Buzza Church of Uganda, was arrested last week.

 

Ssemaganda was arrested after 16 pupils of Buzza Church of Uganda Primary School in Kyalurangira sub county, Rakai district reported him to their parents and headmistress accusing him of sodomizing them.

 

The victims are aged between the ages of twelve, thirteen and fourteen. Eight are in primary three, four in primary five, three in primary six while one victim is in primary seven.

 

The victims claim that Ssemaganda would take advantage of them whenever they would go to his house in the evening for coaching in Social Studies and Christian Religious Education (CRE) subjects.

 

Charles Bukenya, one of the parents of the victims, claims that his child told him that Ssemaganda sodomized him several times in the evenings after conducting coaching.

 

The victims further claim that Ssemaganda increased his assaults on them during the last holidays.

 

Taban Chiriga, the Rakai Criminal Investigations officer, says police has not yet taken him to court because they are still investigating. He says preliminary investigations basing on doctors report indicate that he actually sodomized some of the victims. He however says police plans to conduct HIV AIDS tests on Ssemaganda before taking him to court.

 

Chiriga explains that they had not conducted the HIV AIDS examination alongside the homosexual tests because there were no HIV reagents in Rakai hospital. He however says they plan to conduct the tests soon.

 

Julius Ssemaganda, the suspect has admitted the alleged acts of homosexuality. He however told Uganda Radio network that he only sodomized five of the victims not sixteen. He claimed that he had been overcome by the power of sin.

 

However, the sixteen children have been taken to Rakai Hospital to undergo HIV AIDS tests.

 

Jane Tulina, the Buzza Church of Uganda Headmistress, says she has personally transported the sixteen victims to Rakai Hospital. She tells Uganda Radio Network that by 10am; only two pupils had undergone HIV AIDS tests. She explained that only those who complained against Ssemaganda had been taken for tests.

 

Tulina however says the alleged homosexuality scandal has embarrassed the school with some parents threatening to withdraw their children.

 

Tulina also says they plan to hire a social worker to carry out counselling sessions to all the victims and other pupils at school.

 

Isaiah Mugerwa, another parent to one of the victims, says he was shocked by Rev. Ssemaganda’s actions. He says he has now stopped his children from participating in any co-curricular school activity because he allowed his son to go to school even on weekends purportedly to go for co-curricular activities and coaching.

 

Mugerwa says he also wants Ssemaganda banished from their community because he has become a public nuisance.

 

The recently signed Anti-homosexuality Act provides for a 14 year jail term for first time offenders and a maximum of a life sentence to those convicted of acts of homosexuality.