Contact us: Independence House Plot 11/13 Olya Rd Gulu City, 0711 111 666, Email Us

Karamojong Mothers Sentenced to Community Service for Sending Children to Beg on Streets

Convicted Mothers

The Kampala Capital City Authority -City Hall Court has sent more than 100 Karamojong mothers back to Napak for rehabilitation and to serve a one-month community service sentence for sending their children to the streets to beg.

On Thursday, the Grade One Magistrate Edgar Karakire found the mothers guilty of sending children to beg in a public place. They have been on remand in Luzira Prison for three weeks.

Trouble for the mothers started last month, when they were rounded up by KCCA Law Enforcement Officers from various streets in the city during preparations for the recently concluded NAM and G77  conferences in Kampala.

They were arraigned before the Court for plea-taking and later remanded to prison after pleading not guilty to the charge against them.

At City Hall Court, the women who were carrying their children, however, pleaded guilty and asked the court for leniency arguing that they had not wasted the court’s time. They also asked to be sent back to Napak to start a new life with their children.

The court accepted their pleas since the KCCA prosecutor Hillary Musiimenta left it to the court’s discretion to hand an appropriate punishment.

Karakire noted that the offence of sending children to beg on the streets is so rampant but considered the mothers’ plight some of whom are widows and have no source of income to look after the children.

Although the offense attracts a maximum jail term of six months upon conviction, the Magistrate ordered that they be returned to Napak for rehabilitation and also do community service as a punishment. He further cautioned them against sending their children back to the streets.

The court also ordered that in case the mothers fail to serve their punishment, they will be jailed for one month.

This is not the first time that the Karamojong mothers have been convicted by the same court over the same charges.

In August 2022, Grade One Magistrate Jane Tibagonzeka found a group of 25 women from the Karamoja sub-region guilty of sending their children on the streets to beg and sentenced them to serve a jail term of three months.

In June 2022, the KCCA passed a Children’s Protection Ordinance which makes it punishable for one to send children on the streets to beg.

The same law criminalizes children loitering in public places soliciting for money, vending, or hawking and it also bans the sale of alcohol to children. According to the ordinance, anyone who breaches this law will be jailed for six months or pay a fine of two currency points(40,000 Uganda shillings ) or both.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

scroll to top