Sheikh Arrested for Attempting to Marry Off 16-Year-Old Daughter in Luwero

The Police in Luwero district have arrested a Sheikh for attempting to marry off his daughter aged 16 years.

Sheikh Zakaria Semusu, a resident of Kasokoso village in Zirobwe town council was arrested after her wife reported him to the Police for attempting to marry off their daughter on the weekend. The daughter has been a senior two student at Buzibwera secondary school.

Sam Twineamazima the Savannah Regional Police Spokesperson explains that Semusu invited Swaibu Katende a resident of Mityana district to marry off the daughter at the ‘Nikah’ ceremony organized at his home.

Twineamazima adds that the mother of the daughter challenged the marriage and alerted Police which responded by arresting Semusu and stopping the function.

Twineamazima adds that Sheikh Semusu has since been transferred to Luwero Central Police Station to face charges of aggravated trafficking and procuring defilement.

There was drama when Sheikh Semusu recited several Quranic quotes and shouted at the top of his voice as Policemen were leading him to Luwero Central Police Station cells.

Lawrence Kabugo the LCI Chairperson of Kasokoso village says that that Semusu got custodianship of the child this year after the mother who lives in another village asked him to look after her after failing to get school fees.

Kabugo adds that Semusu promised to enrol the daughter at another school but instead decided to marry her off.

Kabugo says that the mother was infuriated after getting the news and alerted the Police which surrounded the ‘nikah ceremony’ before arresting Semusu and others fled.

“We condemn the act of marrying off young girls that are supposed to be in the school,” Kabugo said.

Cases of early marriages, teenage pregnancies and other sexual abuses have forced many girls to drop out of school in Luwero.

According to District Probation Office, at least three out of 10 girls in the Luwero district who sit the Primary Leaving Examination don’t join Secondary school after they are either forced into marriage or become pregnant.

The Police crime report indicates that a total of 166 cases of defilement were reported in 2022 in Luwero district. Police ranked Luwero number two in districts with the highest cases of aggravated defilement across the country.

However several cases of defilement go unreported.

The Luwero District Health Report on teenage pregnancies indicates that in the period of the past seven months from July 2022 to January 2023, at least 9,184 girls below the age of 19 sought antenatal services after they got pregnant.

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