NEBBI. The head of the family protection unit at Nebbi central police station has threatened to arrest parents who lie about the age of their children when it comes to cases of defilement.

Speaking during a meeting at Nebbi town on Thursday, Ms Baifa Wanican observed that the rate of teenage pregnancies in the district is alarming yet parents are the ones encouraging it since they shield the perpetrators.

“Enough is enough! We shall start arresting parents who play around with the age of their girls for purposes of settling defilement cases at home. They will be taken to court without fear or favour and this will affect both parents," Wanican warned.

She said some parents hide birth certificates of their children just to frustrate the case so that they can receive gifts from defilers.

Mr Alfred Masendi, the program officer for Caritas Nebbi said it is a big challenge that parents go to court and deny the age of their children.

He added that some parents play around with their children’s baptism cards after conniving with perpetrators.

“We all need to come together and fight this vice to expose such parents and punish them if we are to fight child marriage and teenage pregnancy cases in the district,” he said.

But Mr Peter Okiria, the Nebbi district community development officer (CDO) said parents should be encouraged to be in the lead to end child marriage and teenage pregnancies because they come from them.

“We can come up with all the by-laws, ordinances and stop discos but we cannot stop children from coming out as long as their parents fail to regulate them at night,” Okiria added.

Mr Geofrey Okello, one of the participants said some of the behaviours exhibited by the children are learnt from home since parents misbehave in front of them.

According to a report from Nebbi hospital in January and February 2019, 102 teenagers delivered at the facility and about 136 attended first-time antenatal care.