Security bosses in Bushenyi District have expressed worry over an influx of underage girls who are currently participating in daylight prostitution.
According to the Resident District Commissioner, Ms Jane Asiimwe Muhindo, the girls including refugees are practicing broad-day prostitution in areas of Kizinda, Bushenyi, Butare, Mashonga and other growing trading centers where they have posed both security and health threats.
Ms Asiimwe told this publication that many of the girls being employed by bar owners mainly hail from the districts of Bushenyi, Isingiro, Kasese, Rukungiri and they practice their trade in bars and lodges in town.
The most recent operation mounted by police in Bushenyi and Kizinda areas rounded up to 15 underage girls being used in the prostitution business.
Bushenyi district police commander, Mr John Bosco Sserunjogi said they have tried arresting the girls but efforts to contain the vice have not yielded as the girls cannot be charged in courts of law.
“We have tried arresting them but you can’t charge them in courts because the law is silent on that. We have also tried to arrest bar owners and those behind the business of employing underage girls, but most of them have gone into hiding,” says Mr Sserunjogi.
He added that some of the girls taken for mandatory random HIV testing were found HIV positive.
Police investigations indicate that the girls sleep with up to five men or more per day.
One girl confessed having unprotected sex with up to eight men per day at Shs20,000.
“The multiplier effect of this illicit trade is large and this puts communities at a higher risk of having a surge in HIV infections. In a short period, you will find that many people are infected with HIV. So, men need to be careful,” said Ms Asiimwe.
Mr Edward Mpabwa, the Bushenyi district secretary for education, health and social services says the development has become a serious security matter and it needs political interventions by engaging local leaders for political backing.