The International Crimes Division of the High Court (ICD) Uganda on Friday, October 8, sentenced a pastor to life imprisonment after he was convicted of six counts of aggravated trafficking in children and six counts of aggravated defilement.

Mr Didas Mpagi, alias Bakulu, who was the headmaster of Real Infant Primary School in Wakiso District when he committed the offences between 2018 and 2019, was on Friday told by court that he would spend the rest of his natural life behind bars for sodomising at least 13 pupils.

Justice David Wangutusi said Mr Mpagi would serve his sentences concurrently.

Investigations into the case commenced when concerned residents tipped off the police. When the investigation ran its course, it was reportedly established that Mr Mpagi was not only a headmaster at the school, but also a warden for the male pupils.

It was also revealed that he was sleeping in the same dormitory with his victims who were all male and that he sexually exploited them at night.

The investigations also showed that Mr Mpagi cherry-picked his victims from families which were economically weak. He is said to have targeted them to stay in the boarding section of the school for his own carnal pleasures, promising to get them sponsors and scholarships.

Prosecution further told court that once the children were in his school and dormitory, Mr Mpagi threatened to stop paying their school fees or cancel their scholarship if they did not obey his commands.

“The victims revealed that they were required to spend some nights in the accused’s bed and whilst there, the victims were required to sleep naked.

“The accused would massage their bodies, including the penis. The accused would then fondle the genitals of victims with his fingers, and thereafter he would practice oral and anal sex on them,” the indictment read in part.

Prosecution contended that Mr Mpagi held out monetary benefits with the intention of making his victims submissive and sex slaves. It further said Mr Mpagi — who was found to be 28 years and of sound mind — created a sense of insecurity among his victims.