Uganda: Missing people – Families cry out to government for help

Mamos Media

National Unity Platform party supporters in a police truck after they were charged with being in possession of military fatigues and unlawful gathering last year. PHOTO /FILE

By Derrick Wandera

Kaka Meddy (he is a brother to missing Silver Kalulu)
     My brother Kalulu was picked by masked people around Kasubi market. Onlookers told me they beat him severely before they whisked him away in a “drone” car (van) to a place where we have never established. 

    We have visited all police stations known in this area but they keep tossing us from one to another.  He was picked up on December 13.  All the burden of looking after his children and wife have shifted to me yet I have my own family. Our MP-elect Abubakar Kawalya has tried to help but we cannot afford to ask him every day.  

    We are stuck. All his children are supposed to be in school because they are in semi-candidate classes but they have all dropped out of school. It is very hard and we hope that he will be released. 

Marita Nakyanzi (sister of  missing Tadeo Ssempijja) 
    I have used a lot of money. They have extorted money from me telling me that they would help me get my brother Ssempijja but from where I stand, I highly doubt he is still alive. 
    All offices that are supposed to helps us don’t have any more feedback.  He left me with his wife and children. 

The burden of feeding them rests on my shoulders. Why can’t government help us find our people who are innocent? He has five children and on December 19, 2020, masked men wielding guns picked him up at Kabembe Stage in Mukono where he worked as a taxi driver. 

    The children cannot go back to school because there is no money, no food. We are praying that he is reunited with his family or if he is dead, we ask that they return his body such that we give him a decent burial. 

James Ochar (son  of Rose Achieng, 46)    When my mother was abducted, I was supposed to report back to school as a finalist at university but I could not. I have to wait and see if they will release her. 

    She was picked up by men dressed in military uniform on the night of January at her home in Tororo District.  She was beaten and transported in a ‘drone’ (vans allegedly used by security to abduct people to unknown places) car to an unknown destination.

  We have tried all our best to search for her in hospitals, police and asked relatives but in vain. My father has continued to receive anonymous phone calls asking him for his daughter Catherine Nyafamba, who is my sister. My sister left the country a couple of years ago but many government people have been accusing her of financing and supporting Opposition activities through my mother.

 We have been informed that their aim is to arrest Catherine. They believe by arresting my mother, they will get to my sister. The whole family is in fear and we don’t know who they will pick up next.

Fred Kalungi (uncle of Robert Mwanje, 20) 
We have combined efforts with the mother of this child to look for him but things have become difficult every other day. We are convinced that he was killed or we shall never see him. 
He was picked with five other colleagues. The four were set free but Robert has never been seen. His friends don’t know at what point he was separated from them. 

    On November 19, 2020, they were picked at Lubya in Rubaga Division on allegations that they had participated in the riots in Kampala when people protested the arrest of Bobi Wine. 

We cannot trace his whereabouts. They were briefly held at Kawempe Police Station, then taken to Kitalya prison and we have never heard of him again. 
 We have gone to Kitalya prison a couple of times and they tell us he is not there anymore. 

Lawrence Kigundu (brother  of  Vincent Kawuki)  
Vincent was found in Katwe Suburb, Kampala, after his work in town. There must have been someone following him. They beat him and took him with other people on January 15 but since then,  he has never been seen. 

 His children have dropped out of school and the family was chased out of the house they rented. They now stay at my place. The wife had to go to a friend’s place where she stays with her new born baby. The baby was born after the husband’s arrest. 
Some people told us he was held in Kitalya prison but when we visited, they told us he was taken away. 

Gladys Nanyonga (mother   of Denis Matte, 19) 
 All I want is to see my son. My life has changed since he was abducted.  My son was picked up from Katwe and taken to Kanoni prison and then to Mubende Army Bararcks. I have never seen him again. 

 I don’t know whether he is dead or alive.  I beg government to return his body if he is dead and I bury him. He was picked on January 15 with friends.  

Amina Nakayenga (mother  of Joshua Ntege, 18) 
My son had a dream of being a politician. The dream, as it stands, is dead and will never be realised. It is four months since and I have not yet heard of or seen my son. 

On December 2, he went to visit his friend called Ashiraf Awiye and they were both picked by people holding guns. He had just sat Senior 4 and was about to join Senior 5. 

  I know he was always talking about Bobi Wine as his candidate. What I can never tell is whether he left home and participated in the protests. Those who witnessed the spectacle say he was brutally beaten before he was taken.

Steven Mutebi (brother to Muhammed Kanate)
     We cannot handle Kanate’s 20 children from his two families. After his arrest, because we couldn’t afford food for all of them, some of them ran away from home. They are still young children, we are sure they cannot take care of themselves. 

     On January 14, men wearing masks went to one of his homes and broke the door open, but when they found that he had not slept there for the night, they kidnapped his wife and ordered her to take them to his second home. Upon reaching there, they broke in and arrested him while beating him. This is the last time his family last saw him. Our efforts to look for him have been futile. 

All I remember is he supported NUP party but that is not a crime. It should never have warranted his arrest and torture. 

Source Daily Monitor.

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