Paedophiles and wife killers of the world, have you not heard of Uganda?By JOACHIM BUWEMBO | Monday, April 16 2012 at 10:39
We Ugandans continue to shatter world records like there is no tomorrow. As the world was busy preparing for Easter holidays, we broke yet another one: Becoming the most dangerous place for women and girls to be.
This was not an easy one to break, considering that the previous record holder, the Democratic Republic of Congo, had set the bar of abusing women so high.
Mind you, DRC early this year had just broken another record – the Holocaust that saw six million Jews annihilated.
The rulers and warlords of Congo this year surpassed the six million mark, having violently dispatched more than that number of non-combatants since the removal of Mobutu Sese Seko.
How do you break the record of a nation that allows routine rape of tens of thousands every day?
It is in DR Congo that international peacekeepers rape underage girls as part of their daily menu, and life continues.
It is in DR Congo that a priest who has taken vows of celibacy keeps two or three women in adjacent houses and continues performing his holy duties – apparently because those are just Congolese women.
That is not a record you break with ease. So what did we do to erase it? For us we are a sophisticated society so we did it differently.
A 53 year-old Turkish guy came to Uganda over five years ago as a tourist and got busy defiling little girls.
He reportedly preferred those in the age bracket six to fifteen and had no time to waste on old mamas aged sixteen or seventeen.
We allowed him what must be the longest tourist visa in the world — five years, and he must have gone through tens of thousands of girls.
Recently, he got tired of just doing it and started recording his deeds on video and posting them on the net.
When some people got annoyed and caused his arrest, our courts pulled off the stroke that broke DRC’s record.
They interpreted the law to set the chap free after he pleaded guilty to abusing 50 girls. They told him to pay $2,000 and did not even issue a deportation order.
You see, in DR Congo you can abuse girls but you only get away with it because of absence of government and modern judicial institutions.
If the Justice, Law and Order sector had really cared, they could have done a simple google search of the guy and discovered that in Kenya, he had been charged with defilement of a 15-year old before he relocated to Uganda. But why bother when the guy can pay us $2,000?
At the same time the court was rewarding the Turk for his deeds, an Indian national who was on death row in Kampala for murdering his wife was getting presidential pardon.
Too many neighbours had heard the woman plead for mercy as she was being tortured and electrocuted the whole night, that the courts had no option but to return the guilty verdict.
But the lucky guy was granted pardon and must be looking for a new wife now. So paedophiles and wife killers now know which country to migrate to.
Joachim Buwembo is a Knight International fellow for development journalism. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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