Members of Parliament have tasked Kampala Capital City Authority(KCCA) to give a clear and sustainable strategy of solving the recurring issue of street children.
Last week, KCCA officials removed up to 161 children from Kampala streets and took them to Koblin Rehabilitation Centre in Napak district.
While raising a matter of national importance during plenary on Wednesday, Napak District Woman MP, Faith Nakut was concerned that the children have been taken to a facility which has the capacity to accommodate only 60 children.
“Staff there have reached out to MPs to support the children with basic needs. They do not have food. The children are sick; should they die in the hands of the government, I do not know what we shall do,” Nakut said.
She called on the Minister of KCCA to give a sustainable strategy of solving the recurring issue of street children.
“I presented a motion in November last year on the plight of street children. The Committee on Gender has been processing that motion but up to date, the report is not out. This report should be presented so that KCCA is guided on how to deal with street children,” she said.
Nakut also condemned the manner in which Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) officials recently removed children from Karamoja off the streets, saying that the children were manhandled.
“These children were picked up as if they were criminals yet they are victims. The child traffickers on the other hand have not been dealt with,” said Nakut.
Busiro County East MP, Medard Sseggona, wondered if consideration of the freedom of movement of Ugandans is made while removing citizens off the streets.
“We need to seek the opinion of the Attorney-General. What informed the returning of these children to Karamoja? We have not studied the conditions under which these children left Karamoja, yet we are taking them back there. We are not even handing them back to their parents,” said Sseggona.
The Minister of State for Gender, Sarah Mateke, said that while KCCA manhandled the children, the rehabilitation centre has the capacity to accommodate all of them.
“It is not true that there is no food; every quarter, the Ministry of Finance releases funds because this is an institute which trains youths,” said Mateke.
The deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa, directed the Prime Minister to provide a statement within two weeks, saying that the conditions in Koblin are deplorable.
“When I was reading the report of the gender committee on Gender-Based Violence, they said Koblin is doing very badly. The facility is not protected, and it is one of the areas where warriors abduct children. Taking the children there is not safe,” said Tayebwa