By Gad Masereka
A school director, Mr. Jonah Ssebanenya, from Kings Palace Primary School in Luweero District, appeared in Luweero Grade One Magistrate’s Court on charges of alleged defilement of six Primary Seven students who were about to start their PLE exams. He faced charges of aggravated defilement and human trafficking, both considered serious offenses, and therefore, he couldn’t enter a plea at this stage as only the High Court can handle such cases.
Presiding Grade One Magistrate John Obuya ordered Mr. Ssebanenya to be held in custody until November 22 when his case will be reviewed for further proceedings.
The investigation revealed that the cases of the other five students were not yet complete, so they couldn’t be addressed in this court session.
The prosecution alleges that Mr. Ssebanenya engaged in sexual misconduct with a student (name withheld) between September and October, which goes against Section 129 (3) of the Penal Code Act. Additionally, he is accused of trafficking children for sexual exploitation, including recruitment and transportation through abduction.
Earlier, Mr. Ssebanenya collapsed and was taken to Kiruddu Hospital in Kampala, where he was later discharged and declared fit for trial under police supervision.
According to court documents, Mr. Ssebanenya is a medical officer at Katuugo Health Centre III in Luweero Sub-county. His arrest on October 29 followed reports from the parents of the victims to the Luweero District Probation Office and the police, alleging his involvement in the defilement.
In a broader context, the Luweero Police Station recorded the highest number of crimes nationwide in the 2022 Annual Police Crime Report, with 1,261 cases, followed by Old Kampala Police Division with 1,201 cases. Luweero District ranked second in the report for domestic violence cases, with 501 reported incidents, while Kiryandongo District had the highest number at 520 cases.