Police in Kampala has this afternoon arrested two people suspected of having masterminded more two kidnappings of young children in the city centre in the last four months.
The suspects identified as Godie Kasenya and Sam Mugula, also known as Nicky, were picked up by the Flying Squad operatives from Kawanda, a Kampala suburb.
The arrest follows the disappearance of eight-year-old Joel Bwambale who was kidnapped from Katooke in Nansana Municipality a few weeks ago and later released after the parents paid a ransom of Shs 4 million.
Bwambale was recovered by police on Monday this week from Kawanda. The suspects allegedly wrote a note with a mobile money phone number for depositing the ransom money and left it for the parents of Bwambale. The parents fearfully sent the money and were then informed of where the child could be found.
Operatives from the Flying Squad used the mobile money number to track down the suspects. According to the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire, on arresting the suspects, it was established that a similar ransom letter written with same handwriting was involved in the kidnap of a three-year-old child in November 2017.
“We suspect that they were the same people who kidnapped a three-year-old last year and received money before releasing the child,” Owoyesigyire told this publication.
The two suspects are currently being held at Kawempe police station before they are transferred to Nansana police station where the case was initially reported. The arrests come just a day after the body of Susan Magara, a 28-year-old who went missing on February 7, was found dumped near Kajjansi in Wakiso district.
Magara is believed to have been killed by the same people who kidnapped her and asked her parents for a ransom of $1 million (about 3.7 billion).
At the requiem mass at Our Lady of Africa Church in Mbuya, Kampala today, Magara’s father, John Fitzgerald Magara, told mourners that the family had negotiated with the kidnappers and paid the ransom hoping to save her life.
Unconfirmed reports say Shs 700 million was paid to the kidnappers, who, in available audio recordings on social media said the family of Magara was financially capable of raising the $1 million they had asked for.
The kidnappers last week recorded a video of Susan being tortured and sent to the family together with two of her fingers that had been chopped off.