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Uganda outlaws donations to street children

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By BBC
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Lawmakers in Uganda have passed a bill making it a criminal offence to offer money, food or a donation to a street child.

Violators of this new law could face up to six months in jail or a fine of $11 (£8.20; Sh1,114).

The aim of the law is to curb the commercial and sexual exploitation of children.

Kampala’s mayor, Erias Lukwago, says the law will also penalise traffickers, agents and parents of the children found begging or selling items on the street.

It is not uncommon to see children as young as seven navigate through the traffic selling items or begging.

The government estimates there are as many as 15,000 children between the ages of seven and 17 on the city’s streets, and the number continues to climb.

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Some of the children are trafficked from villages and given small rooms in slums by their handlers.

The law also makes it illegal to lease or rent a house to a child for immoral activities or for a child to engage in petty trade.

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Kenya: MPs Drop Plans for Special Sitting Over Coronavirus Fears

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A special sitting of MPs was cancelled indefinitely due to fears of mass coronavirus infections among them and a warning from the Ministry of Health, the Nation has learnt.

Sources at Parliament Buildings told the Nation that the ministry warned that it would have been reckless for MPs to carry on with the sitting scheduled for Tuesday before release of the results of all the 50 members who were tested.

Tracking coronavirus

Unconfirmed information from multiple sources within Parliament indicated that at least 17 out of the 50 MPs tested so far are positive.

But the National Assembly’s leaders, including Speaker Justin Muturi, dismissed this report as fake news.

“It is not true,” Mr Muturi told the Nation. “Results are given to individual members.”

REACTIONS

Clerk Michael Sialai said he was “not aware” of the alleged 17 cases.

“No. I have no such report. Testing was voluntary and results were given to individual members,” he said.

Majority Leader Aden Duale also denied the report.

“I’m not aware. I think it’s a sensational story,” he said.

The alleged 17 cases were not captured in Tuesday’s briefing by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, who announced 14 new cases.

HEALTH REVIEW

A bulk SMS that the clerk sent on Monday said the sitting was cancelled due to a review of health and safety arrangements related to reassurance of the health of MPs and staff while within Parliament precincts.