KAMPALA – The Minister for Internal Affairs, Gen. Jeje Odongo has revealed that a total of 44 people have been reported kidnapped and 31 of these are yet to be traced.
Gen. Odongo made this revelation on Thursday as he presented a statement to Parliament in regard to alleged kidnaps in the country.
The Minister said that seven people who were reported kidnapped had been arrested, charged and released on bail while the other four including Lumu Ronald, Kabaale Benard, Mugarura Ronald and Shafik were arrested for aiding and abetting terrorism.
“These suspects have since been interviewed, recorded statements and released on police bond,” he said.
Odongo added that Galiwango Rogers allegedly kidnapped from Kyebando with 10 others resurfaced after three days.
The Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga last week directed the Minister to explain the reported rampant kidnaps following a query raised by the Opposition Chief Whip, Hon Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda.
Minister Odongo said that in Mukono, four people are reported to have been kidnapped identifying them as Male Musa, Kamata Muhammad, Kagimu Musa and Kiberu Julius.
He also revealed that 11 other people allegedly kidnapped in Masaka.
“I have tried to give an update on the continuous incidents of alleged kidnap. Investigations are ongoing and I undertake to give progress of these investigations with time. I would like to appeal to the public at large, please report these alleged incidents of kidnap to police. We undertake to investigate each and every one of the reported incidents,” Gen. Odongo added.
Legislators questioned the total disregard of the arrest procedures by police and other security agencies.
Hon Asuman Basalirwa, the Bugiri Municipality MP said that during the election period, many people were kidnapped allegedly by security agencies with no trace to date.
“The reason why people are saying kidnap is because the mode of arrest is against the constitution. The arrests must follow the law and that is why Ugandans are concerned,” Basalirwa said.
Mukono South MP, Hon Johnson Muyanja Ssenyonga was also concerned about the continued use of cars described as drones by security agencies to kidnap Ugandans. He wondered how the country is going to avoid the kidnaps if there are so many numberless vehicles used to kidnap people.
Hon Cecilia Ogwal, the Dokolo Woman MP also questioned the kidnaps saying that the statement from the Minister needs to be realistic and explain the whereabouts of the missing people. She said that these Ugandans lives are threatened and need to be accounted for.
“Why are these kidnaps taking place in Buganda? The next region maybe the North. We don’t like a situation where people think Baganda are different. You touch a Muganda, you have touched an Acholi, Langi or Itesot,” she said.
Hon Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the Kiira Municipality MP expressed worry that the missing people could be dead.
“What is the use of these cameras we installed? Iam told some of these people have been killed and that is why you cannot trace them,” he added.
In response, Gen. Odongo said that it would be wrong for one to run to conclusion on the matter. He however said that a number of people using the tinted, numberless vehicles who have been allegedly kidnapping people have been arrested and being questioned.
The Minister also said that Buganda region is not in any way targeted.