When Muhammed Luutu, a resident of Nkonkonjeru Zone in Kyengera, left his home on October 17, for duty at the Ministry of Education offices in Kampala. He would return home to the news that his 17-year-old daughter had run away from home.
Rehema Nansubuga, who was a Senior Five student at Central College, Kyengera left a note apologising to her father for not having bid him farewell, thanked him for everything that he had done for her since she was born, and asked the family not to waste time looking for her because she was going to Masaka and she was going to be fine.
Her mysterious disappearance continues to haunt the family a month later as the family searches for her in various places, including relatives homes, hospitals and far-flung towns, without success.
Lamenting the fate of his daughter, Luutu says he had heard of reports of children running away from their parents' homes, but the last thing he expected was his daughter to do the same.
"At first, I thought it was a joke, but after waiting for several hours without seeing her, I became restless," says Luutu. Her disappearance has caused the family endless agony.
Every time his phone rings, Luutu thinks it is somebody with information relating to his daughter.
"When I pick the call and listen, gloom always engulfs me when I realise it is someone different," he says.
Fraudsters have also cashed in on the family's misery to ask for money after learning that the family had promised a big reward.
"After she went missing, I received a call from someone who claimed he was a special hire driver based in Lugazi. He told me he had seen my daughter in Lugazi and that I should send him money for fuel. I quickly sent him sh150, 000 via mobile money, but when I called back after the money was withdrawn the number was switched off," adds Luutu.
The family has also been cheated that their daughter has been sighted in some places only for them to waste money travelling and the information turns out to be false.
The nearest the family came to finding their daughter was a call they received from Iganga. "We travelled to Iganga and saw a girl who really resembled my daughter, but when I got closer, I discovered she was not the one," Luutu said.
He says he had never had any quarrels with his daughter and does not really see why she opted to leave home that day. "She was our first born and we really loved her, just as we did all our children," Luutu says.
The family says they had hope that Rehema would one day become a doctor.
"She has an aunt who stays abroad and had promised to sponsor her for any course she wanted. As a family, we also had the means to educate her.
Luutu's appeal to his daughter and anybody who knows her whereabouts is that, "please return home. We miss you."
Anyone with information can contact the family on 0772187412
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