A family in Mbale District is living in fear after unidentified people dropped a letter in their compound demanding $4,500 (about Shs17m) or else kill them.
The letter, which Daily Monitor has seen, is addressed to Mr Derick Juan alias Masaba, the first born of one Ms Rose Nabukonde, owner of the home in Wanambwa Cell, Nkoma Ward in the Northern Division of Mbale Municipality.
“Well, either we deal or kill you. That is how we see it and nobody can stop us. Money should be only tool $4,500 will save your lives. We looking forward to perish your mum in case we do not get what is expected from you,” the letter reads in apart.
The letter is neither dated nor signed. It was also not readily established when the intruders dropped the letter at the home.
Mr Masaba, known by his face book name as Juan is a Ugandan businessman based in South Africa. He returned home with his family for Christmas in December last year. He left in February this year.
Ms Nabukonde, aged 51, told Daily Monitor at her home yesterday that the letter was found at the gate by one of her nieces only identified as Peace when she was heading to school.
“She came back running that she had picked a letter, covered in an envelope addressed to my son and myself. At first, I thought it was a joke until she availed the letter to me,” she said.
“I woke up from sleep and called the neighbour’s child to read it for me, which he did. The content in the letter ‘blew’ life out of me for a while,” she added.
In the letter, the intruders gave the family 20 days within which to pay the $4,500 (about Shs17m). They vowed to kill the family if the money was not paid within the prescribed deadline. The suspected killers also warned the family to not involve police or any security personnel in the matter.
They indicated the cellular telephone numbers to which the money should be sent by mobile money transfer as 0759-320680 and 0774-131430.
They further told the family that any communication to them should be by Short Messaging Service (SMS).
Upon cross-checking, Daily Monitor established the said telephone lines are registered in the name of Robert Ssekabila and Lydia Namono respectively.
However, it was not readily established whether these names exist in the National Identification and Registration Authority database.
Ms Nabukonde reported to Nkoma Police Station and the case was entered under SD Ref 14/12/03/2018. The case was later referred to Mbale Central Police Station for further management.
Ms Nabukonde’s daughter, Ms Miriam Muduwa, said the letter has occasioned untold anguish to the family.
“We are traumatised, we are not certain of the future,” she said.
“I fear for my mother’s life because she has not eaten since she saw that letter,” Ms Muduwa added.
She said her mother has high blood pressure and diabetes, adding that her condition has escalated upon receiving the intruders’ threatening message. She appealed to police for protection. “We need security,” Ms Muduwa said.
She said the letter could have been written by wrong people who think the family has money because one of the members works in South Africa.
The Elgon region police spokesperson, Mr Sowedi Manshur, confirmed the incident. He said police had already started investigations.
“We have received the complaints and investigations have kicked off. As police we are not taking the matter for granted. We are going to arrest them,” he said.
The LC chairperson, Mr John William Nambohe said the intruders’ letter had triggered panic in the village.
“We are in fear because this is the first of such incident in this village,” he said.
Last month, assailants kidnapped a 28-year-old woman Susan Magara and demanded about Shs3 billion for a ransom which they eventually received in a much lower amount from the victim’s family but nevertheless killed her and dumped the body off Entebbe Road.