Sunday July 8 2018

I didn’t want to end up like late Nebanda, says MP Rwabwogo

Kabalore Woman Member of Parliament, M

Kabalore Woman Member of Parliament, Ms Sylvia Rwabwoogo. PHOTO BY ALEX ESAGALA    

By JOB BWIRE

KAMPALA.

The Kabarole woman MP Sylvia Rwabwogo who has since Thursday been in the spotlight after court jailed a 25-year-old student for stalking her says he was being used by people who wanted to kill her.

Brian Isiko, a student at YMCA Jinja Branch was on Thursday convicted and sentenced to two years in Luzira prison after he pleaded guilty to charges of cyber harassment and offensive communication.

“Before you go on judging me and scolding me, I want to let you know that there's more than meets the eye in all this saga that has turned out to be a national issue. What most of you regard as mere love messages should know that this was not just love messages. This boy was being used by some selfish individuals in a mission to lure me with love and kill me,” Ms Rwabwogoa 42, wrote on her Facebook page on Sunday.

She says she endured fear and suffering due to “those who sent Brian to trap and kill me.” 

“Nebanda was killed in such a way. I didn't have to wait to be killed, as a precautionary measure, I had to seek the solace of authorities to protect myself, my family and constituents from horror. If it was for love, I have had many even those younger than Brian and much older, but this was none like other with intentions to harm me,” added Ms Rwabwogo a member of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) before calling upon Ugandans to be vigilant at all times. 

“We cannot go on dying like animals. Vigilance is key”

Cerinah Nebanda was a Member of Parliament representing the Butaleja District Women's Constituency who died in December 2012 at the age of 24.

Police investigations team linked her death to what they called "a narcotic drug syndicate operating in a number of countries including Uganda, Pakistan, and South Sudan".

On January 4, 2013, Nebanda's boyfriend, Adam Suleiman Kalungi, was arrested in Kenya and extradited to Uganda for questioning by police. He was however, acquitted of the criminal charges surrounding her death in July 2014. 

In Court last week, tears rolled down Ms Rwabwoogo’s cheeks as she told the trial magistrates that she started receiving calls admitting love from a stranger before the controversial Constitution Amendment Bill that was passed in December last year to remove presidential age limits.

Ms Rwabwogoa said that it all started around November 2017, which made her think that someone was intending to harm her. She thought the calls and text messages were a trap her tormentors had set. 

“At the start, I took it for granted thinking that maybe it was just a simple call from one of my constituents. Later, the calls became so frequent with the caller making more weird love confessions. I felt this had gone too far,” she said.  “So, I decided to report the incident to Police at Parliament. I blocked his number but the stalker resorted to text messages,” Ms Rwabwoogo testified.

One of his texts that provoked my fears read: “I love you so much and want to protect you. My love is for you alone and since there is no one taking care of you, I will do it. I have realised that you are in deep trouble.” 

Ms Rwabwoogo said she received many calls and over 10 messages adding that at one time, her stalker texted asserting that he had failed to sleep at night because he was thinking about her.

The MP said she set up an appointment to meet the stalker after Police at Parliament assigned her a guard.

The meeting, according to the MP’s testimony took place on June 11, 2018 at Java House, Lugogo in Kampala.

She testified that when they met, the stalker pulled out his identity card bearing the name of Brian Isiko. Moments later, her guard arrested him.

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