ARUA. School children and women have pointed an accusing finger at their fathers for relegating their responsibilities to their mothers as they spend most of earnings and time on alcohol and drugs.

The children said whereas their mothers have taken full responsibility of running the homes, it has not stopped their drunken fathers from beating their mothers either and sending them away from home.

This was during an intergeneration dialogue on parenting and Gender Based Violence (GBV) prevention organised by reproductive health Uganda Prevention+ program at Odromacaku border market on Friday.

The program partners with men and women to end gender based violence. It focuses on engaging young men and women to prevent GBV and promote gender justice.

“My father doesn’t drink sachet waragi but drinks beer every evening but when you go to him to ask for scholastic materials, he tells you that he has no money, I would have been in secondary school by now but look, I’m still in primary five because of interruptions in my studies”, Gloria Ayikoru, 15, a pupil of Mbaraka primary school said.

While Titus Arua, a pupil of Kubo primary school, Ayivuni Sub County said “my father chases away everybody from home at night when he comes home drunk, sometimes he finds us when we are sleeping and beats our mother even if she has done nothing, it discourages us from staying at home and sometimes makes our mother to leave the home”.

Mr PhilipMr Philip Atidra, the RHU branch manager for Arua speaks during the dialogue. PHOTO BY CLEMENT ALUMA.

Ms Grace Osoru, a resident of Odromacaku market urged the district to expedite to process of enacting the ordinance on sachet waragi which is a source of conflicts in homes.

“This sachet waragi makes men so weak and they can’t do anything after drinking it and when you complain, it’s another problem for you as a woman”, She said.

Other children and locals attributed the persistent GBV in the communities to poverty and polygamy.

The children said favouring of some of their step mothers over others by their fathers remains a challenge for many of them in homes.

Speaking during the dialogue, the regional police spokesperson Ms Josephine Angucia said misunderstanding between the spouses coupled with alcoholism and drug abuse remain the main sources of GBV in the communities.

“Sachet waragi is cheap and has high alcohol percentage, most of the parents and children take it but we can’t do anything at this time because there is no law to that effect but when the ordinance comes into effect, we shall act” Angucia said.

One of the residents identified as Pier Bemba however stunned the gathering when he confessed to being polygamous.

“I have two wives and children and we are happily living in our marriage, what made me to go for the second one was because whenever I could want to make love, she could tell me that she is tired, but because I never wanted problems with her, I married the second wife” he stated.

Mr John Ondoma, a retired civil servant giving a key note address castigated some men for not understanding their wives and exhausting them out when they abuse drugs.

OneOne of the girls gives a testimony during the intergenerational dialogue on Friday.