Ugandan kidnapped in South Sudan

Monday November 18 2019

Traders at Nimule Bridge on the Uganda-South Sudan border. Many Ugandan traders have in the past been mistreated in South Sudan. FILE PHOTO

Kampala- A Ugandan businessman has been kidnapped by gunmen in Juba, South Sudan.

Mr Andrew Leju, who is a business associate of events promoter Balaam Barugahara, was picked up by gunmen on Saturday night and taken to an unknown destination.

Mr Barugahara said he received information about Mr Leju’s kidnap from their lawyers in South Sudan. Mr Leju is the manager of Redbal Investment Co. Ltd that is based in Juba.

“I was called last night that Leju was taken away. I engaged my lawyers of Ajak and Company Advocates in South Sudan who said they were engaging authorities to know if he is with the national security agencies,” he explained yesterday.

Mr Barugahara said armed men raided Mr Leju’s home in Riverside Konyo Konyo, Juba, and asked him at gunpoint to sign an agreement that indicated that he had sold the company. He said Leju was whisked away after declining to sign.

Mr Barugahara said there has been an intense property wrangle between the landlord and the company over shareholding and the former had threatened to evict the latter.


He explained that on April 10, 2013, the company got a 25-year lease for two acres of land from one Fatma Ramadan Khir Alla, alias Fatma R Albesheir, and the two parties agreed that she would in addition be paid ground rent annually.

Mr Barugahara said when the company set up a water factory, a radio and TV stations and some buildings, the landlord turned against them and asked them to either vacate the land or give her 50 per cent shares of all the investments.
“She asked for shares and when she took us to court in South Sudan, the court ordered that she has no right to the shares. She instead used the army and locals to halt business that we decided to put the television off air,” Mr said.

Mr Barugahara said through other law firms in South Sudan, he has tried to engage authorities to resolve the matter in vain.

He said on August 27, he wrote to the Ugandan embassy in South Sudan, which wrote to Ms Fatma and the South Sudan government but nothing has changed.