Gakenke: 67 men arrested over defilement in 2018

A cross section of some defiled and impregnated girls from Kivuruga Sector, Gakenke District in a meeting with district officials. Régis Umurengezi.

Police in Gakenke district arrested 67 men suspected of defiling and impregnating underage girls in different sectors between January and December this year, officials said.

Cases of defilement and teenage pregnancies are rampant, which has prompted authorities to pursue strict measures to address the issue.

Figures from Gakenke district show that 194 defilement cases were reported in the last 11 months of which 60 of the culprits were found guilty.

The district Vice Mayor for Economic Development, Aimé François Niyonsenga, told The New Times that the arrests made were a result of tip-off from residents after they were sensitised on consequences of teenage pregnancies.

He however cited the lack of information sharing as a top barrier for access to justice for defiled girls in the district.

“The challenge we are facing so far is that information on defilement cases is not provided timely, some families of victims are just mediating with offenders which obviously thwarts the delivery of justice,” noted Niyonsenga.

He added that: “We are therefore calling upon parents as well as victims to speak out so that the culprits are brought before court of justice.”

Modeste Mbabazi, the Spokesperson of Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB), told The New Times that information sharing is crucial to ending defilement.

“There are still a number of suspects who are not yet arrested as defiled children together with their parents did not provide information timely, but for those suspects who were reported they were all arrested and held accountable,” He said

Article 191 of the Penal Code punishes defilement with life imprisonment.