KAMPALA, UGANDA: Bukwo district LC5 chairperson Mr Julius Chelimo could face death penalty if found guilty of aggravated trafficking in children. He also faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment once convicted of charges related to aggravated defilement.
Mr Chelimo who was earlier this week arrested by police appeared before Kira Court Chief Magistrate Roseline Nsenge today, (November 3rd) and heard the charges slapped against him but he was not allowed to plead to the offences, as the judge said she has no jurisdiction to handle the matter.
“This court has no powers to handle the matter. Therefore, you will plead to the charges at the High Court before the trial starts,” she said.
Ms Nsenge also advised the lawyers of the accused Enock Kayondo and Ninsiima Kazora, to apply for bail in the High Court, Kampala in case they want their client to be freed temporarily before the hearing of cases begins.
The district state Attorney Cate Basuta said inquiries are still ongoing and asked the court to adjourn the case to another date for mention.
Court heard that on May 18, 2022, in the districts of Bukwo, Mbale, and Kampala, Mr Chelimo recruited or transported or transferred or harboured, or received a 16-year-old girl (name withheld) using abuse of power or position of vulnerability for sexual exploitation.
The state prosecution further purports that Chelimo, 37, on the same date at Kitui village, Kabei sub-county in Bukwo district being a person in authority over the girl, performed a sexual act with the young girl.
The embattled district boss had resigned from his post as LC5 chairperson in a letter dated October 24, 2022, citing he was facing threats and being witch-hunted by people he did not mention. However, police arrested him days later on October 31st and has been in custody since then when he was arraigned before court for mention of the charges.
Magistrate Nsenge adjourned the case until November 24, for mention.
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