Nothing Can Justify Rape

The minister of state for Youth Affairs, Ronald Kibuule, was on Wednesday put on the spot in Parliament to clarify his remarks that women who dress indecently deserve to be raped.

Speaking at a youth event in Ntungamo district earlier, the minister had reportedly said that police should cross-check the backgrounds of rape cases to eliminate those ‘provoked’ by women dressed in miniskirts, bikinis and tight jeans.

In Parliament, Kibuule denied he had made the said remarks but an audio recording now available on social networks indicates he actually did. In any case it would not be surprising because this minister has made similar remarks before.

Rape is a crime, period, and thus no one deserves to be raped. Nothing justifies it, not even nudity, Mr Kibuule. It’s a shame that Uganda has a leader at such high level, who would rather blame rape on the victim.

Would he in the same vein blame robbery on the fact that the victim didn’t lock his house? Is that his logic?

It’s even more disturbing that Kibuule is minister responsible for youth, most of whom find miniskirts, bikinis and tight jeans trendy – which is not a crime. More so, the youth docket is under the ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, which is charged with promoting gender equity, among other goals.

Yet the minister’s remarks clearly show he is in the wrong job. Sometime back, Parliament resisted the appointment of Prof Tarsis Kabwegyere to the same ministry because some MPs felt that his earlier position on the Domestic Relations Bill made him the wrong choice.

Similarly, Kibuule’s controversial position on women’s dress choices versus rape makes him unworthy of such an office. The sooner his appointing authority realises that, the better.

Above all, leaders like Kibuule must be held accountable for whatever they say in public. They can’t afford to simply shoot off their mouths at will because words, especially those uttered by leaders, can have serious consequences.

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