Police on Wednesday foiled a kidnap of the Rwandan asylum seeker by unknown assailants in Kampala. The refugee, Protais Hakizimfura, 66, had gone to Namayiba Bus Park in Old Kampala to pick his wife who was travelling from Rwanda.
According to eyewitness accounts, two men waylaid Mr Hakizimfura and tried to kidnap him, but the silent plot turned into a fracas and attracted the public, forcing the police to intervene.
The Commissioner for Refugees in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr David Apollo Kazungu, said there were several theories about Mr Hakizimfura, including one that he had jumped bail in Kigali and was wanted by the authorities there over genocide.
“I cannot confirm if it is true or not, but he has proved to us that he served six years in jail and was released on completion of his jail term,” Mr Kazungu said on Thursday.
Mr Kazungu said Hakizimfura and his wife were in safe custody as the matter was now under investigation.
The Rwandan High Commissioner to Uganda, Maj Gen Frank Mugambage, told this newspaper to stop contacting him on matters regarding kidnapping or killing of Rwandan refugees.
“I have heard that story, but how many times shall we have to tell the world that we don’t kidnap or kill refugees?” Mr Mugambage charged.
Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Patrick Onyango confirmed the foiled kidnap.
The latest incident invokes memories of the arrest and dubious extradition of Lt Joel Mutabazi, a former bodyguard of Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s, last November.