At least two candidates of National Unity Platform (NUP) in Mawokota South, Mpigi District have allegedly been kidnapped by people believed to be security operatives, according to relatives and friends.
Mr Abdul Rashid Nkinga aka Jjaja Katikannyonyi who is the NUP flag bearer for Buwama Town Council chairperson seat and Mr Ronald Ssekajja, who is eying Buwama Rural Sub-County chairperson seat, went missing on Wednesday throwing their relatives into panic.
Others who are reportedly missing include; Mr Ronald Mugerwa, a prominent businessman and proprietor of Jazz African Motel in Buwama Town; Mpigi District Woman MP aspirant Joan Nakintu Lule’s driver, Baker Kawooya; Mr Victor Makenya ,a resident of Jalamba Village and Mr Godfrey Kisembo Buyaaya, the proprietor of Buyaaya Glass Mart in Buwama Town .
According to Dr Joel Mirembe, a NUP registrar in Mawokota South, Mr Nkinga and Mugerwa were picked up by armed men in plain-clothes from Equator Gardens-Nabusanke along Kampala-Masaka highway at around 3pm on Wednesday evening.
“The duo was together taking drinks and were attacked by armed plain-cloth security operatives who were covered with masks. The armed men were moving in two vans commonly known as drones. Others were picked from their homes in the wee hours of the night,” he said on Friday.
Dr Mirembe attributed the kidnap of the six people to the current political atmosphere saying the government is trying to intimidate Opposition supporters in the area as the election date draws closer.
Mr Mugerwa wife, Sharon Kangume, said she received information from workers at Equator Gardens that her husband had been kidnapped by seven armed men who also took his mobile phone, two brown envelopes containing unspecified amount of money and car keys.
“My husband was putting on a red T-shirt with Hon. Kyagulanyi’s portrait and I think it is the reason he was taken. I beg the security people to bring back my husband and if he has a crime, let him be taken to court,” she said.
Ms Shanita Nakato Kawooya, a wife to Kawooya said the armed men who claimed that they are policemen knocked on their door at around 1am on Wednesday night and forced their way into the house and took her husband.
“One of them (armed men) slapped and pushed me against the wall while others entered our bedroom to pick up my husband who was not even dressed. They were putting on black overalls with pistols and hammers in their hands,” she narrated.
Ms Joan Nakintu Lule, an independent aspirant for Mpigi District Woman MP seat said: “I think they were arrested because they have been supportive of NUP political activities; facilitating our campaigns with public address system, money, fuel and vehicles. We condemn such acts of the cowardice and we demand for their immediate release or be produced in the Courts of Law for prosecution. This is not the democracy our leadesr fight for in the bush,” she said.
Katonga regional police spokesperson, Ms Lydia Tumushabe, said police had received the reports from relatives of the victims and they are investigating.
“It is true we received complaints from their relatives but as police, we opened up a general inquiry file and our investigations are ongoing. We (police) don’t know the people who are kidnapping residents and we appeal to whoever has information about them to come to us and share that information,” she said in a telephone interview.