By Ivan Mwine
A priest in Uganda has been sentenced to 28 years in jail after he was found guilty of defiling a 12-year-old minor, without any fear or favour for her parents.
Rev. Muhwezi Gordon, a priest at Nyarutuntu Church of Uganda, in Mitooma, was on Wednesday December 7th, 2022 convicted by the High Court in Bushenyi district, the crime he committed in May 2021.
Lady Justice Joyce Kavuma, the Mbarara High Court resident Judge, heard that Rev. Muhwezi, a resident of Nyakishojwa Central cell, Nyakishojwa parish, Mitooma sub-county in Mitooma district deceived the victim’s parents that he would sponsor her education by paying school fees for her, only to end up defiling the innocent minor.
“This court has found that Rev. Muhwezi has no past criminal record but also the court has a mandate to protect these young girls. The court has to give Rev. Muhwezi a heavy sentence to keep him away from the society and I found a 28-year jail sentence very appropriate for the convict but also you have a right to appeal over this sentence,” said Lady Justice Kavuma.
But to the surprise of the Judge and people in court, Rev. Muhwezi asked court to produce the victim in court and have her testify against him.
“This court should repeat the process and bring the girl whom you alleged that I defiled to testify against me and secondly, this court should give a small sentence and a small fine so that I pay and go back home to look after my family,” the callous man of God, or rather Satan said, although his prayer was not granted by court.
It should be noted that cases of defilement, rape and other forms of sexual abuse escalated during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdowns.
Many young girls in various districts around the country were forced to drop out of school because they were impregnated during the COVID-19 lockdown.