In the lats couple of months, 8 women have been brutally murdered in the Entebbe, Nkumba and Nansana areas. Reports released by police indicate that these women were raped before being killed and had sticks inserted into their genitals. The victims are usually dumped in deserted locations close to their places of residence.
It is upon this background that the sex workers in the area of Abayita on Entebbe road held a crisis meeting on the 14th of July to pass on share security tips after it was revealed that one of their members had met her death at the hands of these gruesome serial killers.
The group held the meeting to mainly help raise funds to retrieve the body of the deceased from Mulago hospital and cover transportation costs to her ancestral home in Mbarara, western Uganda. Sadly, police rounded up the gathering group of 44 women and arraigned them in court on 19th July 2017. The chief magistrate remanded the group to Kigo prisons until 2nd August 2017 when they will reappear before him .
Kuchu Times talked to two sex workers (who are also paralegal officers )Namusisi Allen and Naki Teopista from WONETHA an organisation that advocates for the rights of sex workers in Uganda about the incidents that led to this mass arrest. They also shared their thoughts on the recent murders of women in the city
“Upon the arrest, the sex workers in Abayita called WONETHA to intervene and bail out some of their members . Our paralegal officers contacted Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) an organisation that offers free legal services to the marginalized groups; their lawyers together with the WONETHA paralegals approached the DPC who referred them to the officer who directed this operation. All efforts to bail them out were futile and the 44 women were sent to remand for two weeks,” Ms Namusisi narrated.
Release of the 44 women was eventually secured on 2nd August- they were charged with being public nuisances equating to either three months in jail or a cash fine of Ugx. 150,000 for each.
“Arresting sex workers because someone was killed in a particular place will not solve the problem, let the police instead beef up security in the areas with where sex workers operate in order to curb these crimes ,”Naki told Kuchu Times
Since these rampant killings started, WONETHA has been sensitizing its members about security and how to keep safe while at work.