By Barak Tukashaba
Rukungiri district Remand home whose construction work started 15 years ago is yet to start operations.
The remand home which is located at Kagunga is meant to help in accommodating the juvenile offenders in the district and neighboring Kanungu.
The remand home was constructed in 2004 during Gabriel Kangwangye’s regime as the district chairman and is located in Kagunga cell in Western Division –Rukungiri Municipality.
In Uganda, children below 12 years are by law precluded from criminal responsibility but have continued to be charged.
Remand homes in Uganda are under the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.
Amos Byabagambi the district councilor Southern Division says he is still waiting to hear from the district executive committee on plans of opening the remand home.
Councilors from the former district council had earlier tasked the
chief administrative officer and the Chairperson LC 5 to follow up the issue the remand home.
The ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development passed a policy to have all remand homes in the districts be taken care of by their respective district local governments.
Cleophus Tiwaitu the district community development officer says that it mainly the lack of funds that has put to halt the project for all these years.
He says “the remand home is incomplete, it lacks water,
electricity and staff, which he sees as the main challenge, ever since the government did a review in civil services structures and removed employments of remand homes at district level, it is hard for the local governments to recruit them”.
The remand house built at the western division headquarters cost over150million shillings while accommodation houses for the officials to look after the Juveniles remained incomplete.
The remand home currently houses police officers manning Kagunga police post and other government officials.
The children’s Act asks district local governments to have their own remand homes and financially support them but due
to lack of funds Rukungiri district has been taking the Juveniles to
Kabale remand home in Kabale district which is also currently under construction .
Currently Rukungiri and other districts in Kigezi region use Kitumba remand home in fort portal, Kabarole District. Rukungiri district has over 60 juveniles in the fort portal remand home.
Rukungiri district currently has between 100 and 150 street children.