Anglican reverend arraigned in court over faking kidnap

Friday February 21 2020
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Rev Isaac Mwesigwa, 37, in the dock at Nakawa Chief Magistrate's Court where he was charged with giving a public officer false information on February 21, 2020. PHOTO BY MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI

An Anglican reverend who is accused of faking his own kidnap has been arraigned in court and charged.
Rev Isaac Mwesigwa appeared at Nakawa Chief Magistrate’s court on Friday and was charged with giving false information to a public officer.
He was arrested on Thursday by CID officers in Kampala after police obtained CCTV footage showing that he had exited his car without any attack from anyone, contrary to what he had told police earlier.
Rev Mwesigwa was found in Soroti District on February 12, three days after he went missing. He told police that he had been kidnapped by armed men on his way to deliver his research work at Uganda Christian University (UCU), Mukono.
In court, Rev Mwesigwa denied the charges and asked to be released on bail.

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  • Priest arrested over faking own kidnap- police

    Thursday February 20 2020

    latest12 pix

    Police in Kampala have arrested Rev Isaac Mwesigwa who was last week found in Soroti District in eastern Uganda days after he went missing.
    Rev Mwesigwa told police and journalists that he had been kidnapped by armed men and driven to Soroti District on his way to deliver his research work at Uganda Christian University, Mukono.

    Rev Mwesigwa will be produced in court tomorrow (Friday) on allegations of giving false information to a public officer, according to CID spokesman Charles Twine.
    “The court where he was going to be produced is closed today. He has been detained at Jinja Road Police Station. He will be produced in the same court tomorrow,” Mr Twine told this reporter on Thursday.

    READ:

    I was wrong captive, says abducted Mukono priest

    Thursday February 13 2020

    home006 pix

    Rev Isaac Mwesigwa, who was allegedly kidnapped on Sunday, was yesterday found in Soroti District.
    Church of Uganda Archbishop Stanley Ntagali, who was on official duty in Soroti, received the Rev Mwesigwa at St Peter’s Cathedral in Soroti Town and handed him over to police.

    Narrating his story to Daily Monitor Wednesday, the Rev Mwesigwa, who was on his way to deliver his research work at Uganda Christian University, Mukono, said he noticed strange faces pursuing him on Sunday as he drove around Sonde in Mukono at 9pm.
    “I noticed a speeding car advancing towards mine. When I parked at a supermarket next to Total Petrol Station, their car surged past mine; little did I know that it was my captors,” he said.

    “This was the start of my difficult moments after I was captured by three armed men. As I peeped through my car screen, the armed men had already parked their car at the side of the road, at this startling moment; they were all pointing their guns at me. In my state of fear, I tried to communicate to my uncle at Uganda Christian University Mukono about my being held hostage but before I could complete my communication, they snatched me out of my car,” he said.
    He said he was then forced inside the captors’ parked car that sped off to unknown destination.

    “The captors hooded my face and they drove off. I didn’t know where we were headed. All I remember, they kept changing location,” the Rev Mwesigwa explained.
    He said each time they relocated from the dark spots, his captors kept him under hood, adding that he only noticed nights by cocks’ crows.
    “None of them told me the reason behind my kidnap until Wednesday morning, when one asked whether I needed to live any longer. With my hood on, he commanded me to run after him,” the man of God explained.
    He said he gathered the courage to remove the hood only to realise the captor had vanished in the process.

    “I found myself by the roadside, and it was dawn hours, in my state of fear still, I called a boda boda man to lead me to any Church of Uganda, that is how I found myself at St Peter’s Cathedral Soroti,” he explained.
    Before this, the Rev Mwesigwa said on the eve of Wednesday night, the captors had a brief meeting with the person they referred to as their boss.
    “In their conversation, the boss inquired whether the person in captivity was the true identity of the person he needed, on realising I was a wrong captive, he ordered that I be let free. I didn’t see him but from the sound of his voice, he seemed to be of age,” he said.

    Mr Michael Odongo, the police spokesperson for East Kyoga, said: “From the victim’s statement, it’s a boda boda who delivered him to St Peters Cathedral Soroti, he looked depressed but he is in good health,”
    Police in Soroti referred the victim to the CID headquarters in Kampala where he will be interrogated.
    Meanwhile, the cleric’s wife, Ms Deborah Mwesigwa, told Daily Monitor that her husband was in good health despite being traumatised.
    “We thank God he has been found,” Ms Mwesigwa said shortly after the priest had been found.

    Earlier, a person identified as Jackie, a relative of the reverend, who first posted about the missing clergy, said the captive’s car had been found by the roadside and not at a hotel as claimed by sections of the media.
    Police spokesperson Fred Enanga in a statement yesterday said the Rev Mwesigwa had been examined by a medical team and found to be in good health although he looked weak.

    READ:

    • Vehicle of missing Reverend found in Mukono

      Tuesday February 11 2020

      latest12pix

      The vehicle of Rev Deacon Isaac Mwesigwa who was allegedly kidnapped on Sunday has been recovered.

      A white Toyota Raum car Reg. No. UAR 468D was recovered on Tuesday by residents in Sonde Parish, Seeta in Mukono District.

      Rev Mwesigwa of Kasaka-Gomba, Central Buganda Diocese and a student at Uganda Christian University was kidnapped at around 9.00pm in Mukono and his car taken.

      His uncle Mr Stanley Sempiira told NTV that his nephew called informing him about the suspicious men a few seconds before he was kidnapped.

      “He told me that Uncle, some gun-wielding men have stopped me here and they are not in army or police uniform, am still locked myself inside but I don’t know what to do next. Before I could tell him to knock them down, I heard him telling them that he was willing to open for them instead of smashing his car,” Mr Sempiira narrated, adding that since that day, he has never heard from him.

      According to sources at Mukono Police Station, when the alleged kidnappers learnt that they had been captured on Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras along the Jinja Highway, they abandoned the car along the way. Police sources further state that there were bloodstains inside the vehicle.

      The Kampala Metropolitan Deputy Police Spokesperson, ASP Luke Owoyesigyire, said the car was towed to Mukono police station, but refused to divulge into details.

      “Our officers have recovered the car the Reverend was driving, but he is still missing. We are still investigating and trying our level best to find him as well. We don’t know the motive for his kidnap,” he said.

      Additional reporting by URN

    • Kidnapped priest recovered in Soroti

      Wednesday February 12 2020

      latest03pix

      Rev Isaac Solomom Mwesigwa who was allegedly kidnapped on Sunday, has been recovered.

      According to Mr Luke Oweyesigire, the Kampala Metropolitan police deputy spokesman, Rev Mwesigwa was recovered in Soroti District.

      Rev Mwesigwa, was reportedly abandoned by the kidnapers at St Peter's Cathedral in Soroti town at about 4 am on Wednesday.

      He was later received by  Church of Uganda Archbishop Stanley Ntagali, who was in the area for a pastoral activity.

      Archbishop Ntagali handed Rev Mwesigwa to police at Soroti Police Station where he is expected to record a statement.

      On Tuesday, Rev Mwesigwa’s white Toyota Raum car Reg. No. UAR 468D was recovered  by residents of  Sonde, Mukono District.

      Rev Mwesigwa who is attached to  Kasaka-Gomba, Central Buganda Diocese and a student at Uganda Christian University, was kidnapped on Sunday at about 9.00pm in Mukono and his car taken.

       His uncle, Mr Stanley Sempiira told NTV on Tuesday that Rev Mweigwa called informing him about suspicious men  a few seconds before he was kidnapped.

       “He told me some gun-wielding men had stopped him and were  not in army or police uniform. Before I could tell him to knock them down, I heard him telling them that he was willing to open for them and they should not smash his car,” Mr Sempiira said.

       According to sources at Mukono Police Station, when the alleged kidnappers learnt that they had been captured on Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras along the Jinja Highway, they abandoned the car.

       Police sources further state that there were blood stains inside the vehicle.

      READ:

      Kidnapped American tourist, guide returned safely after ransom paid

      Sunday April 07 2019

      break001 pixx

      An American tourist and a safari guide kidnapped by gunmen in a Ugandan national park have been recovered safe and sound after a ransom was paid for their release, a safari firm said on Sunday.
      Police spokeswoman Polly Namaye, who did not confirm the ransom payment, credited the safe recovery of the pair "to the untiring efforts" of the search teams who were drawn from the police, military and the wildlife authority.
      "The victims of last week's kidnapping have been recovered alive," Namaye said.

      Mike Walker, manager of Wild Frontiers Safaris, said US tourist Kimberly Endicott and the guide, named only as 'Jean-Paul' by a government spokesman, were "back safe".
      "Ransom paid and people exchanged," he told AFP by text.

      break001 pix

      Martin Julius and his wife Barbel were said to be on a Wild Frontiers Safari tour and alerted a manager when they were abandoned in the ambush. Inset is the tour guide Jean Paul. COURTESY PHOTOS


      Referring to the ransom amount Walker said he did not know the "precise amount yet".
      Police had said the kidnappers used Endicott's mobile telephone to demand a ransom of $500,000 (Shs1.8 billion) for the release of the pair.

      Mr Bashir Hangi, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) spokesperson, on Sunday told Daily Monitor that the abductees had been found before promising to provide more details later.
      "[It's] true, details to follow later," Mr Hangi replied to a WhatsApp message from this reporter.
      Four kidnappers stopped a group of tourists at gunpoint around dusk on Tuesday as they drove through the Queen Elizabeth National Park on safari to see wild animals.

      break001 pixxx

      Deputy IGP, Maj Gen Sabiiti Muzeeyi and SFC Commander, Maj Gen Don Nabaasa, at the park shortly after the rescue mission. Photo by Cynthia Nyamai on Twitter

      The gunmen dragged the pair from their safari vehicle, but left behind two other tourists, whom police described as an "elderly couple". They managed to raise the alarm from the lodge where they were staying.
      Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of the East African nation's most popular wildlife reserves, runs along the border with conflict-wracked regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It borders the famous Virunga national park, the oldest in Africa.
      Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo wrote on Twitter that Endicott and Jean-Paul, were rescued "by Uganda security forces in the DRC".

    [email protected]

    He had told police that he was abandoned by the kidnapers at St Peter's Cathedral in Soroti town at about 4 am on February 12, 2020 before he was later received by Church of Uganda Archbishop Stanley Ntagali, who was in the area for a pastoral activity.
    However, police obtained CCTV footage showing that he had exited his car without any attack from anyone.

    Rev Mwesigwa, who was on his way to deliver his research work at Uganda Christian University, Mukono, told journalists and police recently that he noticed strange faces pursuing him on Sunday (February 9) as he drove around Sonde in Mukono at 9pm.
    Earlier, a person identified as Jackie, a relative of the reverend, who first posted about the missing clergy, said the captive’s car had been found by the roadside and not at a hotel as claimed by sections of the media.

  • I was wrong captive, says abducted Mukono priest

    Thursday February 13 2020

    home006 pix

    Rev Isaac Mwesigwa, who was allegedly kidnapped on Sunday, was yesterday found in Soroti District.
    Church of Uganda Archbishop Stanley Ntagali, who was on official duty in Soroti, received the Rev Mwesigwa at St Peter’s Cathedral in Soroti Town and handed him over to police.

    Narrating his story to Daily Monitor Wednesday, the Rev Mwesigwa, who was on his way to deliver his research work at Uganda Christian University, Mukono, said he noticed strange faces pursuing him on Sunday as he drove around Sonde in Mukono at 9pm.
    “I noticed a speeding car advancing towards mine. When I parked at a supermarket next to Total Petrol Station, their car surged past mine; little did I know that it was my captors,” he said.

    “This was the start of my difficult moments after I was captured by three armed men. As I peeped through my car screen, the armed men had already parked their car at the side of the road, at this startling moment; they were all pointing their guns at me. In my state of fear, I tried to communicate to my uncle at Uganda Christian University Mukono about my being held hostage but before I could complete my communication, they snatched me out of my car,” he said.
    He said he was then forced inside the captors’ parked car that sped off to unknown destination.

    “The captors hooded my face and they drove off. I didn’t know where we were headed. All I remember, they kept changing location,” the Rev Mwesigwa explained.
    He said each time they relocated from the dark spots, his captors kept him under hood, adding that he only noticed nights by cocks’ crows.
    “None of them told me the reason behind my kidnap until Wednesday morning, when one asked whether I needed to live any longer. With my hood on, he commanded me to run after him,” the man of God explained.
    He said he gathered the courage to remove the hood only to realise the captor had vanished in the process.

    “I found myself by the roadside, and it was dawn hours, in my state of fear still, I called a boda boda man to lead me to any Church of Uganda, that is how I found myself at St Peter’s Cathedral Soroti,” he explained.
    Before this, the Rev Mwesigwa said on the eve of Wednesday night, the captors had a brief meeting with the person they referred to as their boss.
    “In their conversation, the boss inquired whether the person in captivity was the true identity of the person he needed, on realising I was a wrong captive, he ordered that I be let free. I didn’t see him but from the sound of his voice, he seemed to be of age,” he said.

    Mr Michael Odongo, the police spokesperson for East Kyoga, said: “From the victim’s statement, it’s a boda boda who delivered him to St Peters Cathedral Soroti, he looked depressed but he is in good health,”
    Police in Soroti referred the victim to the CID headquarters in Kampala where he will be interrogated.
    Meanwhile, the cleric’s wife, Ms Deborah Mwesigwa, told Daily Monitor that her husband was in good health despite being traumatised.
    “We thank God he has been found,” Ms Mwesigwa said shortly after the priest had been found.

    Earlier, a person identified as Jackie, a relative of the reverend, who first posted about the missing clergy, said the captive’s car had been found by the roadside and not at a hotel as claimed by sections of the media.
    Police spokesperson Fred Enanga in a statement yesterday said the Rev Mwesigwa had been examined by a medical team and found to be in good health although he looked weak.

    READ:

    • Vehicle of missing Reverend found in Mukono

      Tuesday February 11 2020

      latest12pix

      The vehicle of Rev Deacon Isaac Mwesigwa who was allegedly kidnapped on Sunday has been recovered.

      A white Toyota Raum car Reg. No. UAR 468D was recovered on Tuesday by residents in Sonde Parish, Seeta in Mukono District.

      Rev Mwesigwa of Kasaka-Gomba, Central Buganda Diocese and a student at Uganda Christian University was kidnapped at around 9.00pm in Mukono and his car taken.

      His uncle Mr Stanley Sempiira told NTV that his nephew called informing him about the suspicious men a few seconds before he was kidnapped.

      “He told me that Uncle, some gun-wielding men have stopped me here and they are not in army or police uniform, am still locked myself inside but I don’t know what to do next. Before I could tell him to knock them down, I heard him telling them that he was willing to open for them instead of smashing his car,” Mr Sempiira narrated, adding that since that day, he has never heard from him.

      According to sources at Mukono Police Station, when the alleged kidnappers learnt that they had been captured on Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras along the Jinja Highway, they abandoned the car along the way. Police sources further state that there were bloodstains inside the vehicle.

      The Kampala Metropolitan Deputy Police Spokesperson, ASP Luke Owoyesigyire, said the car was towed to Mukono police station, but refused to divulge into details.

      “Our officers have recovered the car the Reverend was driving, but he is still missing. We are still investigating and trying our level best to find him as well. We don’t know the motive for his kidnap,” he said.

      Additional reporting by URN

    • Kidnapped priest recovered in Soroti

      Wednesday February 12 2020

      latest03pix

      Rev Isaac Solomom Mwesigwa who was allegedly kidnapped on Sunday, has been recovered.

      According to Mr Luke Oweyesigire, the Kampala Metropolitan police deputy spokesman, Rev Mwesigwa was recovered in Soroti District.

      Rev Mwesigwa, was reportedly abandoned by the kidnapers at St Peter's Cathedral in Soroti town at about 4 am on Wednesday.

      He was later received by  Church of Uganda Archbishop Stanley Ntagali, who was in the area for a pastoral activity.

      Archbishop Ntagali handed Rev Mwesigwa to police at Soroti Police Station where he is expected to record a statement.

      On Tuesday, Rev Mwesigwa’s white Toyota Raum car Reg. No. UAR 468D was recovered  by residents of  Sonde, Mukono District.

      Rev Mwesigwa who is attached to  Kasaka-Gomba, Central Buganda Diocese and a student at Uganda Christian University, was kidnapped on Sunday at about 9.00pm in Mukono and his car taken.

       His uncle, Mr Stanley Sempiira told NTV on Tuesday that Rev Mweigwa called informing him about suspicious men  a few seconds before he was kidnapped.

       “He told me some gun-wielding men had stopped him and were  not in army or police uniform. Before I could tell him to knock them down, I heard him telling them that he was willing to open for them and they should not smash his car,” Mr Sempiira said.

       According to sources at Mukono Police Station, when the alleged kidnappers learnt that they had been captured on Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras along the Jinja Highway, they abandoned the car.

       Police sources further state that there were blood stains inside the vehicle.

      READ:

      Kidnapped American tourist, guide returned safely after ransom paid

      Sunday April 07 2019

      break001 pixx

      An American tourist and a safari guide kidnapped by gunmen in a Ugandan national park have been recovered safe and sound after a ransom was paid for their release, a safari firm said on Sunday.
      Police spokeswoman Polly Namaye, who did not confirm the ransom payment, credited the safe recovery of the pair "to the untiring efforts" of the search teams who were drawn from the police, military and the wildlife authority.
      "The victims of last week's kidnapping have been recovered alive," Namaye said.

      Mike Walker, manager of Wild Frontiers Safaris, said US tourist Kimberly Endicott and the guide, named only as 'Jean-Paul' by a government spokesman, were "back safe".
      "Ransom paid and people exchanged," he told AFP by text.

      break001 pix

      Martin Julius and his wife Barbel were said to be on a Wild Frontiers Safari tour and alerted a manager when they were abandoned in the ambush. Inset is the tour guide Jean Paul. COURTESY PHOTOS


      Referring to the ransom amount Walker said he did not know the "precise amount yet".
      Police had said the kidnappers used Endicott's mobile telephone to demand a ransom of $500,000 (Shs1.8 billion) for the release of the pair.

      Mr Bashir Hangi, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) spokesperson, on Sunday told Daily Monitor that the abductees had been found before promising to provide more details later.
      "[It's] true, details to follow later," Mr Hangi replied to a WhatsApp message from this reporter.
      Four kidnappers stopped a group of tourists at gunpoint around dusk on Tuesday as they drove through the Queen Elizabeth National Park on safari to see wild animals.

      break001 pixxx

      Deputy IGP, Maj Gen Sabiiti Muzeeyi and SFC Commander, Maj Gen Don Nabaasa, at the park shortly after the rescue mission. Photo by Cynthia Nyamai on Twitter

      The gunmen dragged the pair from their safari vehicle, but left behind two other tourists, whom police described as an "elderly couple". They managed to raise the alarm from the lodge where they were staying.
      Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of the East African nation's most popular wildlife reserves, runs along the border with conflict-wracked regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It borders the famous Virunga national park, the oldest in Africa.
      Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo wrote on Twitter that Endicott and Jean-Paul, were rescued "by Uganda security forces in the DRC".

    [email protected]


The presiding chief magistrate, Ms Ruth Babasa, granted him Shs1 million cash bail while his three sureties were each bonded Shs5m not cash. The sureties are Stanley Sempiira, Robert Ndawula and Tabbitha Dembe Namboga.
Court was told that Rev Mwesigwa, a student at UCU and father four children is currently undergoing treatment at Mengo hospital over acute stress and abdominal pain.
The case was adjourned to March 2, 2020 for further mention.
Prosecution led by Joyce Apolot states that on February 12, 2020, while at the Counter -Terrorism police headquarters in Naguru -Kampala, Rev Mwesigwa, 37 gave false information to a one Jimmy Alex Ojok; a police officer attached to the said unit that on February 9, 2020, he had been kidnapped by unknown people well knowing that such information would cause the police officer to dedicate his time and resources to investigate it.
Prosecution insists that after a thorough investigation and viewing of CCTV footage by Mr Ojok, Rev. Mwesigwa was seen carefully parking his car at Namisigye village in Seeta Mukono and jumped on a motorcycle to an unknown destination.

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