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16 Days of Activism: 20 months for statutory rape?

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Today’s Newsday reports the story of a 20 year old teacher, Fanuel Dube, who ‘proposed love’ to his fifteen year old pupil and impregnated her.

The reporter writes:

In his defence, Dube claimed that though he knew the girl was still doing primary level of education, he believed she was grown up due to her big frame and big breasts.

Judging from the sentence for what is statutory rape, Filabusi magistrate Shillah Nazombe, must have been sympathetic to the poor man’s plight. After all, it must take superhuman strength to resist the pert breasts and firm buttocks of an underage girl. The man was given a 20 month sentence, 6 months of which were suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour, and the remaining 14 months were commuted to 490 hours of community service where no doubt there will be other mature looking underage girls.

Fanuel Dube’s case is not unique. Several studies and reports conducted by the Girl Child Network, USAID and other organisations observe that sexual exploitation of girls aged between 9 and 16 is rife in the education sector. The studies found that the perpetrators were most often young male teachers aged below thirty with less than five years of teaching experience.

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