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Rwandan women are being sold off as brides in Mityana municipality, URN reports. Despite the fact that many people shy away from talking about the lucrative practice with strangers, the practice is a public secret in Mityana town.
It is reported that a man interested in a Rwandan bride parts with Shillings 80,000 to facilitate the middleman to ferry the bride from Rwanda to Mityana.
Once the bride arrives and agrees to marry the prospective husband, the suitor pays the middleman extra money depending on his bargaining power.
Eddie Ndawula, a boda-boda rider in Mityana town says the sophisticated bride trade came to limelight in 2016 when some pimps used to ferry in ‘Rwandan babes’ to work as commercial sex workers in night clubs and bars.
“They were brought and put in night clubs; bars where men could go pay the pimp to have pleasure for a few hours. I think (Mityana) men loved Rwandan girls so much,” Ndawula said. He says as time went on, some men decided to take on the Rwandan girls for much longer, which prompted them to marry, giving rise to the bride trade.
The practice has attracted the attention of Police and District Internal Security Officer-DISO. Captain Yahaya Kakooza, the Mityana Resident District Commissioner who chairs the District Security Committee, says they have commenced investigations to establish whether there is no criminality involved in the cross boarder marriages.
He however, says there wouldn’t be cause for alarm if a Ugandan man chose to marry an adult Rwandan female voluntarily.
“We are following, but as a person, I see no mistake in these girls being here. We have Rwandese girls who have been married off, but it’s a choice. Nobody has forced them to get married. What matters most are their intentions,” he said.
He however, says they are closely following the middlemen to ensure they are not involved in crime.
“The middlemen are the ones we are closely monitoring, because they may misuse the situation. I know them but I cannot disclose, because it will interfere with our investigations,’ he noted.
Kakooza says preliminary investigations show that some of the brides are taken from their home country without the consent of their relatives, which could fuel disputes between the two countries.
“If their home country could share information that so and so left unceremoniously, then it would be easier to get to them and send them back.”
A member of the District Security Committee said on condition of anonymity that some of the Rwandan brides who were ferried into the country illegally have since been deported.
However, Captain Kakooza dismissed the claims, saying despite the fact that they are investigating the matter; none of the Rwandan brides has been deported yet.
It is a little more difficult now to get a Rwandan bride because of the ongoing investigations. However, URN reports that the Rwandan brides are ferried into Mityana almost every last Thursday of the month.
Reports indicate that most of them are sold out to men in Mityana Municipality and Maanyi Sub County. Muzamiru Ntege, a resident of Central Ward in Mityana Town says at first they thought that the girls were Ugandans of Rwandan origin but discovered that they couldn’t speak any local languages.
He supports the men who have decided to buy the Rwandan brides, saying majority of the native girls no longer respect their husbands and are too demanding.
James Kato married one of the imported Rwandan brides. According to Kato, he opted for a Rwandan bride because getting a Ugandan wife has become too costly.
The presence of the Rwandan brides in Mityana is worrying native women, saying they may fail get suitors since the men are rushing for the Rwandan girls. Zaituni Kakeeto, resident of Wabigalo is against the importation of the Rwandan brides, saying it will destroy families.