JINJA, UGANDA: Police in Jinja district have arrested a Pastor identified as Robert Masiga over allegations of defilement, sexual harassment, authorities have said.
Masiga, a pastor at Christ the Answer Church in Jinja allegedly harassed a 17-year-old girl and trafficking 52 children in the district.
According to the Deputy Coordinator Prevention of trafficking in persons, Agnes Igoye, “a very brave” 17-year-old girl (names withheld) reported the case to Bwenje police station in Jinja.
“The girl was trafficked and defiled by Masiga and as we speak, she is pregnant with his child,” Igoye said while addressing the press at Central Police headquarters in Naguru on Monday.
Igoye added that upon investigation, police discovered that there were other 52 victims that had been trafficked.
“At first we discovered 32 whom he had trafficked from different parts of the Country and these victims mentioned that there were other 20 who had been kept in another place. 3 are pregnant and these are from Luuka, Tororo and Jinja. The youngest of the trafficked children is three years old,” she said
Igoye noted that the children were found “in a sorry state.”
“Unfortunately, the Pastor has been parading children, asking for money from people and pretending that he is the caretaker,” Igoye added.
Police has since rescued the children to a shelter and is tracing family members who can take them back.
She urged parents to be careful with their children and the churches they go to.
“Even pastors can commit these crimes. They go and recruit children in different areas promising to take care of them. So be careful where your children go for Sunday school because they can easily be trafficked,” Igoye warned.