Tales of abductions across the country

Clockwise: Mr Abdul Rashid Nkinga, Mr Ronald Ssekajja, Mr Mr Ronald Mugerwa and Mr Godfrey Kisembo are missing 

There is a huge gap between the number of people that the government says are missing and what leaders of the National Unity Platform (NUP) party say they have gathered. 

Saturday Monitor has sampled different places across the country and gathered tales of abductions that have taken place during the ongoing political season. 

While addressing newly elected NUP councillors  last week at his home in Magere, Wakiso District,  NUP president and presidential candidate in the January 14 election, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, said an estimated 3,000 party members have been abducted. 

But Internal Affairs Minister Gen Jeje Odongo told Parliament on Thursday that the government is only aware of 31 missing persons whose whereabouts they are yet to establish. 
He said a total of 44 reported kidnappings had been recorded at several police stations but only 13 had been investigated conclusively by the police.
In Mpigi, a total of 10 people are believed to be in the hands of security. Among these are Ms Gertrude Kawooya, 66, a traditional birth attendant at  Kyewanise Village, Kituntu Sub-county. 
Kawooya  was reportedly picked up by armed men  from her work place and driven to an unknown destination on January 9.  
Mr Abdul Rashid Nkinga, aka Jjaja Katikanyonyi,  the Buwama  Town Council chairperson- elect, was kidnapped on January 6.

Others who were kidnapped on the same date include Mr Ronald Mugerwa  aka M.R ,a prominent entrepreneur and proprietor of  Jazz African Motel  at Mitala Maria Trading Centre  in Buvama Town Council, Mpigi District,   Baker Kawooya of  Lukadde Zone, Buwama Town Council, Mr Victor Makenya ,a resident of Jalamba Cell in Jalamba Ward and Mr Godfrey Kisembo, aka Buyaaya ,the  proprietor of Buyaaya Glass Mart in Buvuma Town Council.

Mr Emmanuel Bazira , Fred Kijjambu,  Willy Bogere –all  traders in Buwama Town Council. 

Muhammad Ssekimpi of Kayunga Village, Nnindye Parish, Nkozi Sub-county was abducted on January 20 by armed men who were travelling in a  van with tinted glasses commonly known as drone. It had no registration number.

Ms Lydia Tumushabe , the Katonga regional police spokesperson, confirmed that the relatives reported cases of missing persons but the police have not yet established their whereabouts. 
“We ask the public to come to us if anyone has information about these people. As police, we don’t know where they are, but investigations are ongoing,” she says.
In Kyotera District, a total of 19 residents have been missing since January 8 after being kidnapped by unknown gunmen. 

The missing people are all residents of Kisamula Cell in Kasaali Town Council, Kyakkonda Ward in Kyotera District.

Mr John Paul Mpalanyi , the Kyotera County MP-elect , says the victims were picked up from their homes  at night on different days during the month of January .

 Mr George Kasumba, a former aspirant for Kasaali Town Council, Kyotera District,   also went missing on the eve of elections on January 19 and his family members have failed to trace him to date.

Mr Patrick Kintu Kisekulo, the Kyotera District chairperson–elect, says they have given the government a one week ultimatum to unconditionally release the victims or inform  their relatives where they are being held.

 “It is unfortunate that ugly things which used to happen during the past bad regimes are resurfacing today when our beloved President [Museveni] is the one in charge,” he says   
“ According to our records  more than 1,000  people have been reported missing  by 200 families but we ask the powers that be   to talk to security agencies which  carry out these arbitrary arrests to  stop, if there are cases these people  committed let them be produced in court ,” Mr Nasif Najja, the NUP  coordinator in Wakiso District, claims. 
We did not see the records he referred to. 
Some of those  missing in Wakiso, according to Mr Najja,  are John Bosco  Sserunkuma, a district councillor- elect for Nansana West, and Rogers Galilwango, a councillor-elect  representing Nansana West  at Nansana Municipality.
In Masaka , Mr Michael Mulindwa Nakumusana, the Nyendo-Mukungwe Municipality   mayor-elect, says   over 15  people are still in illegal detention  though some were released   last month.

He says a big number of those abducted were picked up from Nyendo, Kyabakuza, and Kirimya-all Masaka City suburbs.
The wife of one of the abductees, who identified herself as only Sylvia for purposes of her safety, says a white saloon car with covered number plates came to their  rented  room in Kimaanya Zone, Kimaanya- Kabonera Municipality; Masaka City on January 20 during  lunch hours and took away her husband .

“They were three people inside the car and the one who was driving was wearing an army uniform and the other two were in civilian clothes, they ordered him [husband] to enter the waiting car and they sped off,” She says.

Mr Henry Mukiibi , also a resident of Kijabwemi Village, says one of his friends, John Mary Birimuye, was picked up by security operatives when   watching European  football matches  at  Tropics Bar. 

“We have checked with police, but he is not there,” he says
Mr Muhammad Nsubuga , the southern regional police spokesperson, says they simply hear reports of missing persons in the media and  relatives have not yet reported  to the police.
In Mukono, where 15 people are missing, Ms Christine Byogero, the  wife of Junior Kiberu (one of the victims), says it is now a month since her husband went missing . 

“We reported the matter to police but we have not been helped, the search is still on,” she says.

Ms Hadijah Munyenze , the mother of Abdul Karim (missing person) says her son was abducted from Kabembe Village and they have not seen him again. “My son is not a politician, but I don’t know why he was abducted,” she says.

Mr Innocent Ssemuddu, a resident of Kabembe Village, says six people were abducted from his neighbourhood, of which four have since been released while two have not been seen since December.

In Mityana , three people –all  residents of Wabigalo Village ,Tamu Division ,Mityana Municipality  - are missing, according to Patrick Mugisha Nshimye, the newly elected district chairperson .

Some four youth  in the same district are also nursing wounds at Mityana General Hospital, which relatives say they  sustained during brutal arrest by police on January 16.

 The victims include Ramadan Kaweesa, Muhammad Nsereko, Ali Musisi and Matia Kibirige –all  casual labourers at Kitinkokola Village .Nsereko was rendered unable to talk while the other victims are visibly weak. 

The victims were reportedly picked up from their homes after police suspected them to have mobilised residents ,particularly youths to riot, following the arrest of Mityana Municipality Member of Parliament Francis Zake in Kampala on January 16 while he attempted to visit Mr Kyagulanyi.

NAME                                       District 

Yuda Ssempijja                         Mukono
Juma Mukasa                          Mukono
Sula Kiwanuka                          Mukono
Joseph Kyakuwa                      Mukono
Muhammad Nahiru                  Mukono
Junior Kiberu                             Mukono
Abdul Karim Muganga             Mukono
Twaha Kagimu                           Mukono
Isma Ssenkubuge                     Mukono
Stephen Ntulume                     Mukono
Muhammad Kanatta                Mukono
Gaza Kharim                             Mukono
Muhammad Mutebi                Mukono
Musa Male                                Mukono
Sowedi Lwanga                       Mukono
Jolly J. Tukamushaba            Rukiga 
Gertrude Kawooya                   Mpigi
Abdul Rashid Nkinga              Mpigi
Ronald Mugerwa                      Mpigi
Baker Kawooya                         Mpigi
Victor Makenya                         Mpigi
Godfrey Kisembo                      Mpigi
Emmanuel Bazira                     Mpigi
Fred Kijjambu                            Mpigi
Willy Bogere                               Mpigi
Muhammad Ssekimpi              Mpigi
Shafik Nyombi                           Kyotera 
Andrew Kakinda                        Kyotera 
Vincent Muwonge                     Kyotera 
Emmanuel Ngobya                    Kyotera 
John Kiwanuka                          Kyotera 
Ronald Muwonge                      Kyotera 
Farouk Mukapa                          Kyotera 
Javiira Luyombya                      Kyotera 
Mahad  Mukasa                        Kyotera 
Fahad Kasinga                          Kyotera 
Ronald Kawuki                          Kyotera 
Barrack Kyazze                        Kyotera 
Sulait Kyambadde                   Kyotera 
Emmauel Ssegirinya               Kyotera 
Ivan Kawenja                           Kyotera 
Frank Lusembo                       Kyotera 
Derrick Ssebugenyi               Kyotera 
Mahd Kyakuwa                      Kyotera 
George Kasumba                   Kyotera 
John Bosco Sserunkuma     Wakiso 
Rogers Galiwango                 Wakiso 

Compiled by Al-Mahdi Ssenkabirwa, Wilson Kutamba , Malik F Jjingo, Robert Muhereza ,Denis Edema, Ambrose Musasizi, Joseph Kiggundu, Barbra Nalweyiso & Wilson Kutamba


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