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July 12, 2024
Kampala Daily
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Man Found With 25 Children At His Home Sentenced To 16 Years Behind Bars

Muhammad Walusansa Muzaaya has been handed a 16-year prison sentence by the International Crimes Division of the High Court for his involvement in child trafficking.

In 2013, Muzaaya was arrested following a tip-off about having several children at his Buvuma Island home who were not attending school. Initial reports suggested that Muzaaya had 25 children who were not studying.

However, a police investigation revealed that 39 children were living with Muzaaya and were being put to work in his agricultural fields, all of them wearing veils. Muzaaya was unable to provide a satisfactory explanation as to why these children were under his care or identify their parents.

Further scrutiny by the police and community leaders found that only nine of these children were Muzaaya’s biological children. Despite Muzaaya’s claims that the children were under his care for educational reasons, police found that he had no teaching qualifications or license.

The only education provided was religious instruction, focusing on the Asalaf sect of Islam. It became apparent that Muzaaya, a farmer, was exploiting the children’s labor for his own benefit.

As a result of these findings, Muzaaya was charged with 25 counts of aggravated child trafficking, accused of exploiting the children for labor. On Thursday, Muzaaya entered into a plea bargain agreement with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the case of aggravated child trafficking.

When the case came up for hearing, Muzaaya chose to plea bargain. During the court session, presided over by Justice Andrew Bashaija at the International Crimes Division of the High Court, the court ensured that Muzaaya fully understood his rights and voluntarily chose to plead guilty. The court accepted Muzaaya’s guilty plea, as stated by the Office of the DPP.

Muzaaya was then sentenced to 16 years in prison. Taking into account both the aggravating and mitigating factors of the case, the International Crimes Division of the High Court decided to sentence Muzaaya to 16 years’ imprisonment for each of the 25 counts, to be served concurrently, as per the plea bargain agreement, according to the Office of the DPP.

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