By John K. Abimanyi (email the author) Posted Tuesday, June 19 2012 at 00:00-KAMPALA-As police in Kampala yesterday arrested a 25-year-old woman suspected of kidnapping two children, authorities in Rakai District were by last night also holding a man
suspected of being an accomplice in the murder of another two children who went missing weeks ago.
The woman, Sylvia Nakanwagi, was arrested in Kireka, a suburb outside Kampala, after a truck driver who was supposed to help her take the kidnapped children to hospital, led police to her. She allegedly kidnapped the children in Mubarak zone, in Makindye, three months ago. She has since kept the children at a house in Kawempe where she worked as a maid.
Police action over the last few days has focused renewed attention on the suspected kidnapping of defenceless individuals in what appears to be a growing racket profiteering from the grisly trade in human body parts.
The rescued children, a four-year-old boy and a three-month-old baby, were found with marks of mistreatment at the hands of Ms Nakanwagi, on their bodies. The baby had swollen cheeks while the older boy had burn-marks on his legs.
Police deputy spokesperson Judith Nabakooba said police would look into the Anti-Human Trafficking Act before preferring charges against Ms Nakanwagi.
Miles away in Rakai, police last week arrested a 40-year-old man suspected of allegedly helping his mother kidnap and murder two children. The woman allegedly kidnapped her neighbour’s two children. The children were later found dead in a bush near her home, provoking angry locals to lynch her.
Charges await Police later arrested her 40-year-old son, Charles Mugerwa, who the natives also wanted to lynch for allegedly abetting his mother’s trade in body parts which were taken from murdered children. District Police Commander for Rakai District Alex Twebaze, says the police is yet to charge the man but that he is being held both for his own protection from the public and also to help the police with investigations.
According to Anppcan (a charity organisation working with children) staff in Rakai District, one of the murdered children, a girl who was studying in Primary Four, was sent by her mother to buy groceries, but never returned.
A search was mounted through the night but ended up fruitless until one of the community’s members said she had seen Ms Kassada carrying a human-like figure the previous evening. They later found the girl’s remains near Ms Kassada’s home.
Ms Kassada was a herbalist from Tanzania. Mr Twebaze said only the decapitated head of the second child’s body, with the other body parts missing, has since been recovered.