By Davis Mugabi
A notorious child kidnapper, who was linked to four incidents of child kidnap for ransom, was fatally wounded, during a violent confrontation, with an arresting team from the Flying Squad Unit, on the 2.12.2022, at Salaama – Munyonyo. The kidnapper who was identified as Mwanje Fred, a 28 year old, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The facts gathered indicate that on the 19.11.2022, at around 10am, the suspect went into the home of Bulega Abdu and Nakawungo Shamim, and knocked at the gate, which was responded to by Shamim, the victim’s mother. He inquired whether they had adult children, who were interested in professional football training. The mother, asked him to contact her husband, Bulega, and shared his contacts.
At around 3pm, the victim, 7-year-old Najib Muyingo was kidnapped, when both parents were away, from their home in Kibiri “A” zone, Busabala ward, in Wakiso district. Later in the day, at around 5pm, the suspect, rang the victim’s father, on his contact number and demanded a ransom of Ugx 3m, in exchange for the release of the victim and also for the reason as to why he kidnapped him. Amidst police investigations, the victim paid a ransom of Ugx 2m, and the victim was handed over to the parents after medical examination.
After 10 days on the 29.11.2022, at around 5pm, the suspect kidnapped a one Ssegawa Quiram, a 6 year old primary pupil from their home at Makerere-Kinoni in Rubaga division, and demanded for a ransom of Ugx 2m, that should be deposited on an airtel number 0701790104, in exchange for their son’s release.
The suspect kept changing his location from Kulekana, Entebbe, Namulanda, Kampala, Taxi park, Bweyogerere and Mabira. He was eventually tracked down to his home in Salaama- Munyonyo, where he was fatally wounded during a violent confrontation. A motorcycle registration number UEM 418Z, that was being used in the kidnaps was recovered and exhibited. The proceeds from the ransoms were being used to construct his house in Mukono.
Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga says that parents and relatives of child victims, were paying ransom to the kidnappers, which he says is very dangerous, “since it endangers other young children, by providing an incentive for child kidnappers and copycat criminals.”
“As the Joint Security Agencies, we want to re-iterate that we do not encourage, endorse or condone the payment of ransoms. We would like to further warn parents, guardians and local leaders of an uptick in child kidnaps, where the kidnappers surveil particular neighborhoods for families that are above average and gather specific information about them. They kidnap their loved ones and coerce the family members into paying a ransom quickly to ensure a victim’s release. The lack of vigilance and easy get a way by motorcycles, has created a terrible environment for kidnaps,” Enanga says.