By Margaret Ziribaggwa
Relatives of Ugandans jailed in China are in a state of panic following reports that more of them could be executed anytime soon.
Last week Uganda made news after two of its citizens were executed in China over drug trafficking which fetches a death penalty once convicted.
A parent to one of the Ugandans on death row in China intimated to this reporter that they had received news that seven others would be executed soon.
The parent, speaking on condition of anonymity, said those in jail in China, when contracted on phone, tell them they do not know their fate as they are not informed of anything.
The worried parents are now beseeching government to intervene and save their children who are still in their youth and losing them also hurts the country.
The list of Ugandans on death row includes the following:
1. George Bosco Tugumisirize, sentenced on October 16, 2012
2. Robert Baluku sentenced on Dec 13, 2012
3. Alfred Ssempewo sentenced on Feb 21, 2011.
4. Bako Maria Piara, sentenced on July, 5, 2010
5. Robinah Nakato- sentenced on March 10, 2011
6. Sandra Nalumansi sentenced on April 15, 2011
7. Josephine Mulimbi Kaczorowski sentenced on June 10, 2011
23 Ugandans serving life imprisonment
1. Jimmy Sendigya Kaboba jailed on December 21, 2011
2. Yasin Mahamood Bukenya jailed on December 22, 2011
3. Faridu Kalema jailed on April, 29, 2011
4. Tadoo Kirwana jailed on April 21, 2009.
5. Felix Robert Nsubuga Kabatoro jailed on May, 9 2012
6. William Nsubuga, jailed on Dec 21, 2011
7. Peter Bogere jailed on August 27, 2009.
8. Reagan Ssekajja jailed on Nov 17, 2009
9. Anthony Kalule jailed on Nov 19, 2009
10. Joseph Mulindwa Mukasa jailed on November 19, 2009
11. Isaac Jaggwe jailed on Oct 25, 2010.
12. Bonitor Naggayi jailed on Dec 12, 2008
13. Jean Ndawula Kirunda jailed on March 13, 2009
14. Lucy Awor Ocen jailed on April, 17, 2009
15. Annet Namisango jailed on May 20, 2009.
16. Habiba Musa jailed on May 20, 2009
17. Nalukwago Nambi jailed on Aug 13, 2009
18. Lillian Deborah Nakungu jailed on December 22, 2009
19. Gertrude Ndagire jailed on Oct 20, 2009
20. Sera Musoke jailed on March 11 20011
21. Stella Sewagaba jailed on Nov 11, 2011
22. Alex Nanyange jailed on Nov 11, 2011
23. Hindu Nantamu jailed on Dec 7, 2011
11 Ugandans serving sentences
1. Christine Nalubwama sentenced on May 15, 2008 is left with 6 years and 11 months.
2. Lucky Bako sentenced on April 17, 2009 is left with 17 years and nine months
3. Sarah Nakayiza sentenced on December 24, 2009, is left with 18 years.
4. Aminsi Maliro sentenced on December 21, 2011 is left with 12 years
5. Jason Mukiibi sentenced on September 3, 2007 is left with 17 years.
6. Val Musa Kisa sentenced on June,2 2008 is left with 15 years and three months
7. Ausi Muyibwa sentenced on June, 2, 2008 is left with 16 and a half years.
8. Nassur Salim sentenced on June 3, 2008, is left with 16 and a half years
9. Ssaalongo Ibraimu Kaweesa sentenced on June 3, 2008 is left with 15 years and two months
10. David Maria sentenced on May,6 2010 is left with 17 years and two months
11. Ayub Bisaso sentenced on June, 30, 2010, is left with 17 years and two months
Convicts jailed in Guangdong and Dongguan
Isaac Jjagwe is serving a life sentence for drug trafficking
Mildred Natuhumuza, a daughter to Justus Byamuhangi and Robinah Byamuhangi of Kigango, Karuhembe, was arrested in Hong Kong in February 2011 and sentenced on November 23, 2011. She is expected out of jail in 2015.
She is serving her sentence at a Correctional Service Department, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Hong Kong
Aggrieved parents beg for help
Jane Nantale has two children; Tonny Kalule and Angella Nanfuka serving sentences in China.
“My children had finished studies and were told they were going to work but the next thing I knew they in jail. I cannot express the pain I am going through as a parent but I am beseeching the government to intervene so my children are spared.
Some parents have sought the help of MPs like Betty Nambooze to be heard.
Nambooze says all she can do is ask government to feel the parents’ pain and dialogue with their Chinese counterparts to help Ugandans jailed there.
Conservative Party president and Lubaga central MP John Ken Lukyamuzi however has expressed discontent towards government following the execution of Andrew Ngobi and Damulira and others on death row in China.
He also condemned parliament for not doing enough to help Ugandans abroad yet when one of the MPs was arrested in India they were quick to swing on action.
In the wake of the execution of two Ugandans last week Justice and Constitutional affairs minister cautioned people to respect the sovereignty of other countries because they have their own laws.
How Ugandans get trapped
Like all employment agencies that connect those seeking greener pastures outside the country, most Ugandan youth venture into China after their studies to teach English which is a well-paying job.
However they unsuspectingly carry luggage concealing drugs to deliver to people’s relatives in China.
Some have been fortunate to arrive in China and their final destination without incident while others have been unlucky as was the case of singer Iryn Namubiru.
Those who are arrested in China are confronted by language barriers and failure to access lawyers. Before you know what is happening you are arraigned in court and sentenced.
Death row survivor speaks out
Patrick Lwanga Zizinga who spent 12 years on death row narrates his ordeal:
“The judge told me I was guilty and sentenced me to death. While I was still digesting those words the judge told those in court to rise and pray for me.
As prayers commenced I suddenly felt my head swelling and I burst into tears as I realised my end had come.
I thought of my children, mother, friends and every achievement I had made in my young life.
For two months, I cried every time that damning sentence of the judge rang in my head. I cannot explain that feeling in words but what I certainly understand what those Ugandans in China on death row are going through.
To date I still suffer the splitting headache and ulcers I felt the day my sentence was read to me.
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