Uganda: Kidnapped Pupils Released After Payment of Ransom

Kanungu — Two Primary Seven pupils of Rukarara Primary School in Kanungu District that were on Easter Monday Kidnapped by suspected Congolese militia were on Tuesday evening released after their family members paid a ransom of Shs3.5 million.

The police spokesperson for Kigezi Sub-region, Mr Elly Maate, identified the pupils as Ronald Niwagaba, 18, and Dan Tweheyo, 16, all children of Mr Enos Mirimo resident of Nyabirehe Cell, Kihembe Parish, Kanyantorogo Sub county in Kanungu District.

"The kidnappers asked for a ransom of about Shs10 million and they were using a Ugandan MTN line. Last evening the relatives of the victims told the police that the kidnapped were released after paying a ransom of Shs3.5 million and all of them were in good health. Police inquiries in the matter is still ongoing because the kidnap case had been registered," Mr Maate said.


The Kanungu deputy Resident District Commissioner, Mr Emmy Ngabirano, said security was in touch with the family members of the victims before they were rescued.

He said some kidnaps are as a result of some disagreements between the Ugandans and Congolese nationals whom they trade with while others stem from failed local farming deals.

"We have been told that some Ugandans hire land in the Democratic Republic of Congo for agricultural purposes. Some Ugandans have banana plantations and others gardens in the DR Congo. In some cases the Congolese national stage kidnaps of Ugandan farmers in case their relatives delay paying rental fees of their land. All this shall be investigated. We make enough sensitisation to our local farmers that own crop gardens in the DR Congo," Mr Ngabirano said.

The Kanungu District LC5 vice chairman, Mr Gad Byomuhangi, attributed the increasing cases of kidnaps in his district to the security laxity in the DR Congo.

"There is need a for a security meeting with all the community members along the Ugandan border with the DR Congo because it is as if some Ugandans are behind the numerous kidnaps," Mr Byomuhangi said. He said once people at the border cooperate with the Ugandan security operatives and the local leaders in the communities, cases of local kidnaps shall reduce.

He named Nyanga, Kanyantorogo, Butogota and Kayonza as the most affected sub-counties in Kanungu District.

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