On Thursday 7th September, 2017 Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE) joined other women’s rights organizations and together we walked to parliament to hear out the statement read by Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon. Jeje Odongo about the sequential inhumane murders of the twenty one women that have been killed in a period of four months.
To our disappointment, the statement only provided the identities of the deceased, where and how their corpses were discovered. The limited information on the motives of these killings and those behind the murders was vague at best. When asked for the above information, the Minister said that investigations were still ongoing and the statement was a preliminary one. This is very sad, seeing that the Minister only presented the statement after a motion was passed by Members of Parliament to adjourn the sitting until they had heard from the Minister of Internal Affairs.
One wonders why the government had to wait for all these women to die for the matter to be taken seriously. Worse still, the minister’s statement implied that the women were killed in a similar manner, with sticks pushed up their private parts. Why then, was no action taken after recognizing the patterns in the first few murders? Why wait for the number to rise to twenty one?
The statement indicated that eight out of the nine women murdered in Nansana were killed for ritual purposes just as was the case of the women murdered in Katabi. However, many believe that if the women were murdered for ritual purposes their corpses would have missing organs or cuts for draining blood, which was not the case. The leader of opposition noted that shoving sticks into women’s private parts is an act commonly done in cases of war and conflict, by the army, with similar cases having been witnessed in Kasese.
Hon. Geoffrey Macho made it known to the August House that Uganda has the biggest budget allocated to security in Sub Sahara and yet it has failed to solve these murders of women within its borders. It is even more ironic that Uganda has peace keepers in other countries when its own citizens live in terror. Government has to show its commitment to the women and people of Uganda by solving the heinous murders of women and bringing the suspects to book.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends, relatives of the dead. May their souls rest in eternal peace. These are our daughters, sisters and mothers, and we shall not sit back until government takes responsibility for the safety of Ugandan girls and women. Women have come so far to let such selfish and cowardly acts pull us back. Not another woman!