Seven Arrested For Attempting to Marry A Minor

Police in Apac district is holding seven people including the parents of the bride and groom for presiding over the marriage of a minor.

Police acted on a tip off by a concern child activist and stopped the marriage ceremony that was being held at Trading Centre C’ Apac town Council.

Jimmy Mogi Agaba, the District Police Detective says they arrested Dan Okello 19, the groom, his father Moses Ogwang and a number of residents of Ayumi village, in Akokoro Sub County.

Also arrested are: Sam Aporo, the bride’s father and Cavin Adongo, her mother.

The bride is said to be 16 years of age.

Agaba says Police has preferred charges of defilement and procuring defilement against the suspects.

He said the girl’s parents had already received three herds of cattle, five goats and two chicken plus seven hoes.

Hellen Kole, the girl’s former teacher at Apac Primary school says the victim dropped out of school, while in Primary five, two years ago and that she was shocked to learn about her marriage.

Under Uganda law, any person who has sexual intercourse with a girl below 18 years of age is guilty of defilement, a capital offense for which, death is the maximum sentence. Section 133 of the penal code also sets a five year prison sentence as a penalty for persons involved in aiding defilement.

Michael Orec, the Apac District Community liaison officer says child marriage is on the rise in the district.

In December 2014, a 32 year old woman was arrested and charged with aggravated defilement of a 12 year old boy. Harriet Ago is still on remand at Atopi government prison in Apac district.