Residents of Nyamiringa village in Bulongo parish, Sembababule district are protesting the release of their village chairman who was arrested for aggravated defilement.
George Musheijja Bakulu, the Nyamiringa LCI chairman, was arrested on Wednesday last week after being caught red-handed defiling a 15-year-old girl.
It is said that Bakulu lured the P.7 pupil into one of the rooms of a local bar where he locked the door and raped her.
At first, a mob wanted to lynch Bakulu for his act but he escaped into hiding and he later turned himself in, to Ntuusi Police post for safety due to the relentless pursuit by the mob.
The victim was rushed to a health center for a checkup and the report proved she was defiled.
The health workers gave her Post-exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) which is recommended for sexual assault victims to prevent HIV transmission.
The constant protests forced Charles Mondo, the Officer In Charge of Ntuusi police post, to transfer Bakulu to Sembabule police station for safety.
Earlier, the Central Police Station of Masaka intervened by taking up the case to quell the protesters.
The file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecution for further guidance and the suspect was to appear in court anytime.
However, the residents and family members were shocked to see Bakulu back in the village roaming freely, saying he had no case to answer and allegedly threatening potential witnesses who caught him practically having canal knowledge of the underage girl.
Muhammad Nsubuga, the Southern Regional Police spokesperson, says Bakulu was released on bond as investigations into the case continue.
However, Bakulu says the accusations are baselessly meant to tarnish his name as a local leader
Some angry residents have vowed to take the law in their hands if police decline to re-arrest the suspect and prosecute him.
Fortunate Birungi, wants the police to explain why they released Bakulu yet he has been threatening them and other witnesses.
According to the victim, her future is spoilt since she is afraid to return to school yet she is a finalist.
She appealed to President Yoweri Museveni and other security authorities to intervene in the matter for justice.
Juma Ssemakula, one of the concerned residents, suspects that the investigating officers received a bribe to compromise the case which tarnishes the police image.
He says the suspect is currently roaming freely at the expense of the poor family and the police have not helped to solve their case.