Religious and political leaders should use their influential powers and authority to sensitise the public about kidnaps.
A BID TO FIGHT KIDNAPS
By David Serumaga
It started as a mere issue when Francis Ekalungar, the Case Clinic accountant was kidnapped in broad daylight and later killed by the dark-hearted people. The next was Suzan Magara kidnapped, tortured and later killed. The most important thing is that those who killed them were afterwards arrested by Police.
A number of kidnaps have been following which has caused anxiety among the citizens because this issue has been given a wide publicity, but less information from the influential people on how this can be stopped. So far, out of the 42 kidnap cases reported within four months, Police has been able to rescue over nine victims who include a pair of twin girls that were kidnapped from Luwero district in February, but later recovered from Masindi.
Sumaiya Babirye and her twin sister, Rahian Nakato, were rescued by Police from their captor at Masindi Guest House in Masindi town. The two minors were reportedly kidnapped by their neighbour, Charles Ayesiga alias Julius Kisembo from Mabbale Zone in Luwero town. He took them to Masindi Guest House before calling their parents demanding a ransom of sh13m. He was later traced and arrested by Police with the help of the hotel management.
On Tuesday, May 22, Police in Mukono rescued baby Chelsea Tazenya, the daughter to Arthur Tazenya of Kira, who was reportedly kidnapped by a house maid, Esther Mulekateete.
Still on Monday 21, Kireka Police Station rescued two children identified as Shakirah Nakabuye 11, a Primary Five pupil at Nakifuma Church of Uganda Primary School and a two-year-old Don Kitandwa. These young ones were returning from a clinic, when three men forced them into a black Raum car and drove off towards Namboole Stadium. This prompted Nakabuye to shout for help, which resulted into excessive panic from the abductors who later pushed the kids out of the car and sped off. Bystanders who witnessed the incident called the Police, who quickly responded and took the children to safety at Kireka Police Station.
On Sunday May 20, Police rescued Dorothy Athieno from kidnappers who had taken advantage of her joblessness to entice her with a job. The 19-year-old from Jinja followed a phone call from a one Mayanja Muhamad who had promised her a job. Armed with a knife, Mayanjja raped her and later asked that she calls her family to send a ransom of 10m before he releases her.
Before Athieno’s family in Bugiri sent the money, the suspect left her locked in his house, playing loud music so that her cries would not be heard. Athieno tried her level best and accessed the window and made very loud noise that drew the attention of the neighbours who immediately alerted the area Police which came in and rescued her and arrested Mayanja.
Although Police is doing its best to curb this vice, it has been reported that some women and girls have taken advantage of these kidnaps to also do self - kidnap. Police has resolved that on 42 kidnap cases, 21 have been of self kidnap. One of them is Najjim Gonza, 27, who faked her own kidnap and demanded a ransom from her mother. She was afterwards arrested by the Kawempe Police Division.
It is unfortunate that we still have people like Najjim Gonza and other 20 reported girls and women who have kidnapped themselves and caused tension to their parents, relative and the whole country. These actions show that the world has become shameless and it needs people like religious leaders to intervene and instill morals in our people.
Some of the religious readers who have commented on this kidnaps, have always been asking Police for help but I think they have a big role to play in this by preaching to conveners on how to love one another.
This also goes to cultural and political leaders who instead of lamenting and asking Police, they should use their influential powers and authority to sensitise the public about these kidnaps or else set punishments to kidnappers and those who kidnap themselves.
Now that musicians have showed that they have a big followership. They should use this prominence to compose and sing songs and package messages of love and those against bad acts such as killing, rape and kidnapping others. I believe that if such a corrective responsibility is done, we shall be observing a change among people and enjoy our societies.
The writer is the president of the Buganda Youth Wing