RORYA District Commissioner (DC), Mr Simon Chacha has said that stern measures, including legal action will be taken against parents and guardians, who obstruct local authority's initiatives from punishing people suspected to be impregnating school girls.
He hinted that some dishonest parents around here have been opting to protect those who impregnate school girls, by advising that they settle the matters out of court, including hiding their identity, and that in turn hinders police investigators and arrests.
Mr Chacha said that with the realisation, he has directed the District safety and security committee, which he chairs to conduct thoroughly coordinated operations presided by local leaders to disclose the names of any person who would be suspected in impregnating a student, adding that in their surroundings they must also have secret boxes for the public to give tips.
The DC made the revelation while addressing a full Councillors meeting at Utegi town over the weekend, organised to discuss the local authority’s quarterly income and expenditure estimates towards the 2019/20 fiscal year budget that is valued at over 45bn/- “From now onwards, the government will take tangible measures including legal action against any parent or member of the community, who will collude or obstruct police investigations by not disclosing the names and whereabouts of a person believed to have impregnated a school girl.
They must realise their full future education dreams,” he pointed out.
He made the speech, after a statement read to him by Rorya District Executive Director (DED) Charles Chacha that indicated that around 87 pupils from the district in some Primary and Secondary schools failed to turn up for their final Standard Seven and Form Four national last year, as a result of pregnancies.
According to the DED, the information he has from the area Ward Education Inspectors was that some parents, through agents lured the girls to receive hefty rewards in form of money and refrain from naming the culprits.
“At some points, they were convinced by the perpetrators or their agents to marry the girls after dowry was paid,” he added.
The DED hinted that such clandestine arrangements made police investigations to fail, saying “the development blocked efforts to take the cases to court, and once the parents are implicated in the cover-up, the victims (girls) end up dropping from school, and the society misses future professionals.”
He therefore, tasked the Councillors to conduct health talk discussions in the public, and initiate extra income generating activities through the development projects to help their residents address poverty, which he named as the basis of the problem.
Mr Chacha also tipped the Councillors that once they have sustaining livelihoods in their areas, the culture of waiting for the support from the central government as grants would be minimized.
In another development, the DED said that going by their records, the Council managed to collect around 610m/- from locally in 2017/18, however, that could not cater for the demands of over 26 wards, especially in the ongoing construction of Ward Secondary Schools, including Dispensaries and Health Centres.
He therefore, called upon the district authorities to investigate allegations that some agents in several revenue collection centres were colluding with unscrupulous traders to evade paying taxes, by opting to print their own fake receipts books instead of the government’s Electronic Fiscal Devices(EFD’s).
“While we urgently need to improve the quality of the council’s service to our people by implementing and completing development projects in our area especially by increasing revenue collections, it is unfortunate that some dishonest officers within us are undermining our efforts,” he added.