Due to lack of school fees, the 25-year-old had asked for a dead year to look for a job and raise money to pay for his studies. He was a second year Bachelor of Tourism student at Makerere University.
One day in January, Sande left the single room he rented in Kitende on Entebbe Road, for Kampala, to look for a job. The search for a job took him to Wandegeya, where he came across a smartly-dressed man near Deep Blue bar. They man only identified himself as Charles.
"Charles asked me for directions to Nando's Restaurant and, after directing him, I asked him if he could connect me to a job such that I could raise money to resume my studies. The man told me he had a relative in Nairobi, Kenya, who had a factory and that he needed Ugandans to work for him because they are hospitable," he narrates.
Sande and Charles agreed to meet the following day, which was a Friday, at Makerere University and their meeting took place behind the Main Library. When they met, Charles asked Sande to pack for the journey to Kenya the following Wednesday.
Journey to Kenya
On the fateful Wednesday, the two met, as agreed, at Makerere from where they boarded a taxi to Mini-price in the city centre where they found a waiting white Toyota Noah with tinted windows, which they boarded.
"I found two other young men and six girls, who were equally eager for the jobs in 'Nairobi'," he says.
Sande did not bother to note down the car registration number. They set off at around midday via Jinja Road and only made a stopover in Mbale town, where Charles bought them food.
From Mbale, they would only stop whenever Charles was changing places with the unidentified driver if he needed to rest.
As Sande engaged his colleagues, he learnt that the boys were Sam Mutesi and Ronald. Of the six girls, he only got to know three: Susan, Bridget and Gloria.
At around midnight, Sande says he realised that they had started driving on a murram road because it had turned bumpy. "We slept and woke up several times."
Sande remembers a tall gate being opened for them in the evening on the following day and on alighting, the vehicle registration numbers were covered. They entered a huge, storeyed, air-conditioned house, with a big sitting room that had one big table and several small ones with chairs. In the house, Sande says, they found a tall, skimpily-dressed woman and four muscular men. Outside the house were a man and woman whom they found cleaning the compound.
Once in the house, Charles, who had earlier been kind to them, suddenly became rude and ordered them to surrender their mobile phones and identification cards. Charles also switched from Luganda and English to strictly Kiswahili, as he talked to the other people they found in the house.
Another group of about 15 boys and girls was also brought in. At this point, Sande and his friends started getting scared. He was shocked when the kidnappers showed them a video clip of a young man who was suffocated using a black polythene bag because he attempted to escape.
Sande chooses to cooperate
Too scared, Sande decided to cooperate to save his life. He says the kidnappers then showed them pornographic footage as they introduced to them what was required of them. This is when it dawned on Sande that he was to sleep with the girls and boys with whom he had come, as the captors recorded the sex orgies.
"They divided us into three groups and asked us to have sex as they recorded. They even banned us from touching the windows. The rooms had cameras," he tearfully narrates.
After several days, Sande says, their captors started bringing in older women to have sex with them. "I later learnt that these women would pay our kidnappers for us to have sex with them."
Sadly, the captives had sex without being tested or using condoms.
After one-and-a-half months of sex, the captors became a bit relaxed towards Sande. He says one day, they organised a meeting, where he talked to a potential client in the UK on a laptop via skype and even arranged to process travel documents for him.
On March 16, they put him in the Toyota Noah to drive him back to Kampala, leaving the other captives behind. But on both journeys, Sande says they never stopped anywhere for cross-border clearance. Sande says he only read a signpost on return when they passed through a place called Kyepskunya (in Sebei).
"When we reached Mbale, Charles offered to buy us lunch (Sande, driver and himself). Unlike before, this time Charles allowed me to go with them to the restaurant to eat. But before they could bring the food, I excused myself to go for a short call and I ran away," he recalls.
Sande says he pleaded with a man driving a Toyota Land Cruiser for a lift to Kampala because he had no money. He spent the night at a friend's place.
Reports to the Police
The following day (March 17), Sande went to the Central Police Station (CPS) in Kampala, where he wanted to open a case. Sande says Police officers asked him why he had not reported the case in Mbale and he told them he was too traumatised to think about it then.
"A lady officer at CPS referred me to the CIID (Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department) in Kibuli, where I met an officer (name withheld on request) who promised to help me," Sande said.
At Kibuli, the detective he talked to neither recorded his statement nor issued him with a reference, but gave him his contact with a promise to call him back. When Saturday Vision contacted the detective, he said they were still analysing Sande's statements.
"We have to look at the information he gave us and analyse it because it is still very scanty. For example, he does not tell us the part of Kenya in which they were detained. So, if we were to carry out an operation with our counterparts in Kenya, where would we start from?" he wondered.
The detective, who is under the CIID, says they treat reports with caution as many make complaints but not all of them are genuine.
However, Sande went back to CPS on Tuesday and managed to report a case of kidnap/human trafficking under reference; SD REF 65/19/03/2013.
Sande is worried that he could have contracted HIV and he is now looking for help to test and find out his sero status.
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