Sunday July 23 2017

Serial killings: Schoolgirl falls victim

RIP. Norah Wanyana, who was found dead near her

RIP. Norah Wanyana, who was found dead near her home in Nkumba Central, Katabi Town Council in Wakiso District. COURTESY PHOTO.  

By Stephen Kafeero

KAMPALA.

She left home to buy food on July 20 but did not return. On Friday morning, the naked body of 18-year-old Norah Wanyana was found in a banana plantation near her home in Nkumba Central, Katabi Town Council in Wakiso District. A stick had been inserted in her vagina.

A young brother of the deceased, Eric Mpagi, said his sister returned from school after 7pm and left around 8pm to buy food.

It was the last time he would see her alive. Before they got the sad news, Mpagi and another sibling, Grace, and their mother, Florence Nankya, had hoped she was engaged in some teenage mischief and would return home.
They kept vigil. She did not. Frantic calls to her phone yielded no response.

It is suspected the Senior Five student at Airforce Secondary School in Entebbe Municipality was raped before being killed. The body was picked up by police and taken to Mulago Hospital for a postmortem. She will be buried in Luweero District.

“I imagine you fighting those hungry lions my little one..... Oooooh noooo. It wasn’t meant to end like this. Rest In Peace. But you haven’t left your mum the same. [I] will always remember you and your sweet heart,” Shamirsydney Zawedde, a friend of the deceased, wrote in tribute.

“I knew Norah from Senior One, I was in Senior Three, she was a very humble girl. There is nothing bad you can talk about her,” Louis Armstrong Kayanja, another of Wanyana’s friend, said in an interview.

Not the first time
The stick inserted in Ms Wanyana’s vagina now looks like a signature for a serial murderer(s) in Katabi Town Council, which borders Entebbe Municipality. Ms Wanyana’s killing is the fourth in less than two months.

The killer(s) also take advantage of bushes and gardens to hide the bodies of their victims.

On July 13, residents of the nearby Abaita Ababiri woke up to the news of the killing of 27-year-old Aisha Kasowole.

Her bruised naked body was dumped in a small plantation near Nkumba University’s Pan Africa Hostel.

The news of the death of Ms Kasowole, a known prostitute, passed quietly. Many suspected she met her death at the hands of one of her multiple lovers. Police made arrests.

The body of Gorret Nansubuga, 19, was found dumped in a banana garden on June 7, just about 10 metres from her home; a one-room house she shared with her friend.

She was two months pregnant when she was killed. Her body was discovered lying on the back with her legs spread open and a stick inserted into her vagina, shocking residents who looked on in disbelief at the abominable cruelty.

On Monday, June 19, another naked body of Faith Komugisha, alias Jamilah, 31, was found dumped in a garden behind her house near the former Sese Gate Way Beach in Kitinda village, Katabi Town Council. Her face was bruised.

A white T-shirt she donned had been pulled back over her head and her breasts exposed. Her white bra and red knickers with white stripes had been removed and put aside. A long stick; the size of a linear fluorescent tube bulb, was inserted in her vagina and caked blood lay between her legs.

IGP responds
When this newspaper, on Sunday, June 25, broke news of the savage killings, Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura rushed to Entebbe and the surrounding areas in what sources said was to assess the security situation.
Gen Kayihura visited the crime scenes in Katabi Town Council where the bodies of Ms Nansubuga and Ms Komugisha were recovered.
The police boss also held discussions with residents in the area and is reported to have spoken to friends and work colleagues of the deceased.

The following day, the IGP returned to the area with police spokesperson Asan Kasingye, an area resident, and other senior police officers. He promised investigations would be conducted and the perpetrators be brought to book.

Crime has only increased in the area since Gen Kayihura’s departure. Apart from the brutal murder of the two women, the area has continued to be plagued by burglaries, among other crimes.

On the same day Ms Kasowole was killed, armed robbers gunned down John Omara, a Security 2000 Limited guard outside CoinWorth Supermarket on Broadway - Kitala, Katabi Town Council.

The robbers also shot in the leg the supermarket cashier and made off with an unspecified amount of money. Police have since launched a manhunt for the robbers captured on the supermarket’s CCTV camera.

Last week, police mounted an operation and arrested more than 90 suspected criminals. Majority of these, about 50, were believed to be prostitutes.

Vijana Na Foundation Uganda, a human rights advocacy group, came out to offer support to the women, accusing police of, among other things, violating the rights of the women and torturing some of the suspects.

The killings of Ms Wanyana implies she joins a long list of murdered women that have become statistics without answers.

Families of Gorret Nansubuga, Sylvia Kirabo, Faith Komugisha, alias Jamilah, Juliet Nampijja, Penina Kobusingye, Emily Akite, Beatrice Mudondo, Rehema Nassali, Desire Mirembe, the four whose bodies were recovered from Nansana Municipality etc continue to grieve for their loved ones.

What police say

While the killings and other crimes continue, Mr Kasingye says police has since put mechanisms in the area to avert crime. Last week, he said, security committees each with at least 30 members were established in all the villages in the area. He added that police has intensified patrols.

“You are going to have these isolated incidents but the security has improved. We have to do something about these ladies of the night. The suspects in the first case [Kasowole’s] who have been arrested are believed to have paid people to kill this woman because she took away their customers,” he said.

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