Uganda: Have You Seen Nantukunda?

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A police spokesman, Hassan Kasingye, referring to Kusasira and the two year old daughter says: "The current information I can give you is that we are still investigating about that case."

[Africa News Update]



Apart from public executions that became a hallmark of Idi Amin’s tyranny, Ugandans used to disappear, never to be heard from again.

As previously reported in this newspaper, some Ugandans have reported that relatives have mysteriously gone missing and they are demanding that police and the military there account for missing relatives. (Please see http://www.blackstarnews.com/?c=122&a=3949 )

Now relatives of Lillian Nantukunda, 25, and Emmanuel Arinaitwe, 23, say they are ready to throw in their towels. They have searched in vain for more than three weeks for the two.

The duo was reported to have gone missing around the time of the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) hosted in Kampala.

Earlier this year, in September, relatives of Betty Kusasira reported her missing with her two-year old daughter. They are residents of Semawata-Ntinda, a Kampala suburb.

Relatives have filed a report at Kira Police Station and the authorities have opened a case file: number 35/27/11/2007, the relatives say. Yet, there has been no update regarding the investigation from police, the relatives say.

"Apart from Safe Houses, we have searched in most of the Police designated detentions and failed to trace our relatives," one relative tells The Black Star News. The reference to Safe Houses are private homes around the capital where security agents detain people on an extra-judicial basis and reportedly torture them.

Were the missing simply mistakenly picked during a security sweep?

This relative adds that she has been trailed by security agents ever since she discussed the disappearance of her loved ones with this newspaper.  "Nantukunda and Arinaitwe are innocent,” the relative says.

The area Local Counselor (LC), an administrative official named Musa, adds: "I can't comment on security matters, you have to talk to the police."

A police spokesman, Hassan Kasingye, referring to Kusasira and the two year old daughter says: "The current information I can give you is that we are still investigating about that case."

"Our investigations would wind-up when we find out what happened or the where about of the missing people," Kasingye adds when asked to give the time frame.

The spokesman, and previously, Army spokesman Felix Kulayigye denied that there had been any disappearance and security rounding-ups of people shortly before the Commonwealth parley.


Yet, other officials, such as Southern Region Police Commander, Andrew Sorowen says there have been security sweeps.


"Over 40 people were arrested and failed to give their account to why they ran away from Kampala," Sorowen says, while attending a meeting at Hotel Greton, Nyendo-Masaka, in Uganda.  He adds that, "They were terrorizing the residents of Nyendo and I had to respond. But now we have remained with a few who couldn't pay the bail fee of Shs 50,000."

 

Investigative reporter Miwambo reports for The Black Star News from London. If you also have relatives that have recently gone missing and have reported the matter to police please contact Miwambo at nosamiw03@hotmail.com


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