Innocent people’s blood cannot go in vain, families of missing persons cry

Monday March 08 2021

Ms Esther Nakimera, mother of Baker Kawooya cries while giving her heart-breaking testimony. Inset clockwise; Ms Mercy Natukunda wife of abducted Vincet Makenya; Ms Eron Nanyonga, wife of missing Vincent Nalumoso, 28; Ms Stella Nayiga, wife of hijacked Kassim Miggade and Mr Matthew Kafeero, brother of kidnapped Michael Ssemuddu

By Derrick Wandera

Husband was picked from the market

Eron Nanyonga, wife of  Vincent Nalumoso, 28                         

I have three children with my husband, and I have been moving since December 1, 2020 to any remand centre [that I know] to express the kind of suffering that I am going through since they took him.

 At all the centres I visit, they tell me to go to police where they told me from the start that they don’t keep prisoners.

I have lost hope that my husband is alive. [If he’s already killed], they would have just given [the body] to me so that I bury him. People wearing plain-clothes and holding guns picked him and six others from Bugolobi Market in Kampala. The other six were released but I have never seen my husband.

Landlord throws her out of house


Mary Namuyanja, wife of Martin Lukwago, 32                         

When my husband was picked from his workplace at Bugolobi Market, the world came to a standstill. 

The landlord tossed our property out of the house and I had kept them on someone’s veranda.

 I could not sustain our children; provide meals and accommodation. So, I gave them to my husband’s relatives.
I now vend food in the market which I do for survival to take care of the baby and myself. 

On November 23, 2020 as my husband was working, men wearing plain clothes and wielding guns picked him up and bundled him into a waiting “Drone” (van) car, and off they went. 

At the time of his arrest, a couple of people were shot, but thank God none of them died. [We could not independently ascertain the veracity of this claim]. 

They beat him at that time and by the time they drove off, he was unconscious. 

It is hard to believe whether he is still alive or dead for now because I have never seen him nor has he ever been produced in any court.

Double tragedy: Robbery  on abduction night 

Stella Nayiga, wife of Kassim Miggade                      

When Kassim was picked by police on December 22, 2020, thieves stole my property on the same day. They took my husband’s boda boda and many other things. 

His sister died when he was away. 
I am sure if he is still alive, he will feel bad to hear that he could not attend his sister’s funeral.

We have not been made to meet him since his disappearance and we are wondering where he is. 

I am now struggling to provide for the family and pay rent which is not easy. 

We were told he was driven to Entebbe before he was blind-folded with six other people and just realised that they were in Makindye Army Barracks.

Family asks state to produce Ssemuddu

Matthew Kafeero, brother of Michael Ssemuddu, 46                        

The big responsibility of raising the children and looking after the wife has been shifted to me and yet I also have children and a wife. 

The only shop where my brother was working has been closed because of rent arrears since that is where he used to stage to do his electronics work.

He had six children, and one who was supposed to sit for Senior Four final exams failed [to take the papers] because of the tuition which was supposed to be paid. 

You look at the option of taking him to school and leave the brothers and sisters to go without a meal…it is not possible.
Another, who was supposed to report because he is joining Primary Seven, did not do so because there is no money at the moment. Unfortunately, his (Ssemuddu) name was not among those that were released by the government.

Ssemuddu was picked from Munaku Town in Kasubi in Kampala on November 21, 2020 with his friends, but because they were looking for him in particular, they let the others to go and he was taken.

 We have searched for him, and we have never set eyes on him since then. We are not sure whether he is dead or alive.

Mother likens Museveni to past leaders

Esther Nakimera, mother of Baker Kawooya    
When our sons started making progress and made their own choices, we left them but continued to encourage them. 

That is what we were taught by our parents, and President Museveni knows. 

I thought this government was going to treat Ugandans better than the past dictators. What didn’t we do for Museveni? 
We gave him food and life for him to go to State House. Is he paying us back by kidnapping our sons?

I know they will not stay in power forever. I have looked for my son from all places, including going to different police stations and the [office of the] District Internal Security Officer (DISO), but no help has been extended to me. 

My son has five children and a wife, how are they supposed to survive? 

On January 6, the officers, who introduced themselves as Uganda police, knocked and entered my son’s house and took him while flogging him.

Mother drops off treatment after son’s arrest

Christine Namayega, mother of Richard Kalema, 29                      

My sugar levels have shot up because I have missed my treatment for diabetes which I am supposed to attend on a weekly basis. 

It looks like that these are my last times on earth. I am sure I am going [to die] because of my only son. 

He was arrested on December 30, 2020. My son is a journalist; he has been working with different media houses.

As my only son, he has been my source of provision to almost everything and most importantly my medical bills for pressure and diabetes. 

Since my son’s arrest, I have been very ill.  There is no one to cater for my bills and care, the stress and worry may lead to my death. 

If the government knows that it is not only punishing our children, but also their dependents, [it should know] the innocent people’s blood cannot go in vain.

Wife cries out over missing husband

Mercy Natukunda wife of  Vincet Makenya                    
My husband left me pregnant. The time of giving birth was very difficult for me because I didn’t have [money to pay] any medical bills.

I have continued to suffer from the problem of rent and feeding the young one. She (the newborn) is always sickly; so, getting her to the hospital is a problem. My husband was my only breadwinner.

He was arrested from around Kyebando, a Kampala suburb in December last year, but I have tried to move to very many places where I thought the security forces might be holding him and I have failed to find him. 

I hope government has mercy on my husband because life has become unbearable.