Police in Mbarara district are holding two women over deceiving their relatives that one of them had been kidnapped, thus demanding for ransom money in order to secure her liberty.
These are Mellon Nabasa, a 45-year-old shopkeeper in Kaberebere, Isingiro and Beatrice Kyomuhangi, a resident of Katete cell in Nyamitanga division in Mbarara municipality.
The arrest was confirmed by the Rwizi region spokesperson Samson Kasasira during a press conference on Tuesday.
Kasasira said Nabasa connived with Kyomuhangi to extort Shs3 million from the relatives but, he said, both police and internal security organisation (ISO) noticed that there was something wrong with their claims of kidnap and decided to investigate further.
Martin Kakuru, a brother to Nabasa, who said she had been kidnapped, said that they received a call from a lady (Kyomuhangi) on April 16 demanding for a Shs3.5 million ransom.
Kakuru says that the caller threatened to kill Nabasa if the money wasn’t availed.
This prompted the family to send the money, but they also reported the matter to Isingiro Police Station and later at Rwizi Region Police.
The Flying Squad unit of police and ISO launched an investigation, but Nabasa surfaced on April 19, claiming that she had been detained from Lyantonde district.
The police publicist says that police tracked the suspect’s phone number and found out that it had never left Mbarara to Lyantode.
The data rather indicated that the caller’s number was within neighbouring areas of Mbarara.
The ladies were in Katete, a cell in Mbarara, according to police.
Nabasa later confirmed the self-kidnap with police, saying her friend (Kyomuhangi) approached her crying of problems, which included paying her child’s school fees and clearing a loan.
The money was, however, not used as planned since the move aborted. Police rescued Shs2.65 million from them since they had used the rest.
Kyomuhangi said to this website that she divorced with the husband who abandoned her, thus the increased problems.
She says she has three children; one is studying from Kashaka Girls’ Secondary School, where she pays Shs85,8800, and the bank loan was Shs1,89,000.
“I had no any option of sorting out all these problems I had,” she said in an interview with this reporter.
Nabaasa’s family has decided to support her with the money.
The case is registered under SD 13/23/4/2018 at Rwizi region.
Kasasira said that in a period of two months, 5 cases of kidnap have been registered in Mbarara district.
A pastor identified as Godfrey Ngasirwe recently kidnapped a 2-year-old child of an army officer in Rengye village in Kinoni town council in Rugando sub-county, Rwampara County.
In another incident in Rwampara, Anolyne Asasira, 11, was kidnapped and her family paid a Shs3 million ransom to rescue her.
Zainab Mahoro from Mikingo in Kisoro Municipality was kidnapped and the family rescued her after paying Shs20 million. She was dumped in a forest in Kazo, Kiruhura district where her family found her.
Charity Kyohairwe from Mitooma district was killed, Fred Karuhanga from Mbarara is still missing and Juliet Twebaze (Mbarara) was killed.