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EDITORIAL: Covering up defilement is the same as committing the act

One would have expected that with all the efforts the government puts in, the harsh punishments in store as well as the awareness campaigns, statutory rape, the act of having sex with an underage child, would not be on the rise.

The age of consent in Rwanda is 18 and the legal age for marriage 21 though the Minister of Justice can make exceptions regarding marriage depending on circumstances.


Immediately after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, child sexual exploitation was rampant as there were many unaccompanied children and the judiciary was still being rebuilt.


Perverts had a field day and lured the innocent children under the pretext of giving them shelter and protection and instead ended up with young brides.


The fact that child defilement cases rose by 50 per cent in the last fiscal year should be alarming, but more so when one discovers the scope of collusion between parents of victims and local leaders in covering up the crime.

Some parents are intimidated by local leaders to reach an understanding with the defiler in exchange for money; some agree out of fear while others are in dire financial need and are willing to look the other way.

But one fails to understand the perversion of a person who finds sexual attraction in a three-year old and the heartless and immoral local leaders willing to cover up for the crime.

These people have no place in our society and should be held accessories to defilement, even the parent who is ready to sell his soul for the price of 30 pieces of silver

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