I was wrong captive, says abducted Mukono priest

Thursday February 13 2020

Speaking out.  The Rev Isaac Mwesigwa  at  the

Speaking out. The Rev Isaac Mwesigwa at the East Kyoga regional police commander’s office in Soroti. Archbishop Stanley Ntagali received Rev Mwesigwa on Sunday before handing him over to police. PHOTO GEORGE MURON  

By George Muron, Simon Peter Emwamu & Tom Malaba

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.

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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.

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