Suspected Congolese gunmen kidnap two Kanungu pupils for ransom

KIDNAP | Two pupils of Rukarara Primary School in Kanungu District have been kidnapped by suspected Congolese gunmen, Police have said.

Ronald Niwagaba, 18, and his brother Dan Tweheyo were working in a banana plantation with other children when the kidnappers attacked.

“One of the men was in a military uniform and had a gun and the other in civilian clothing was carrying a machete,” said Kigezi Region Police spokesperson Elly Matte.

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He said the kidnappers were using a Ugandan-registered Simcard 0777403409 and demanding $3,000 (about Shs11 million) as ransom.

This website has established that the number is registered to a one Patrick Kilemba.

The children, sons of Enoch Mirimo from Nyabirehe Cell, Kihembe Parish in Kanyantorogo subcounty, were on Easter Monday harvesting matooke from a farm belonging to their uncle, Gadi Mirimo.

The farm is located across the border in DR Congo’s Rushuro District, Police said, adding that the other six children were left to go and report the kidnap.

The kidnap comes just a day after the decomposing body of Julius Amutuhaire, a Primary Six pupil at Kyakahangire Foundation Primary School in Lyakajula Sub-county in Lyantonde District, was recovered from a river.

Amutuhaire, 12, had been kidnapped on March 29 while returning home from school with the kidnappers demanding Shs30 million for his release of Shs10 million to return his body.

Kidnap for ransom continues to be a major challenge in the country, with sources decrying the spate as being more pronounced in districts along the border with DR Congo.

The crime has also been pronounced in other parts of the country, including in urban districts of Kampala and Wakiso where dozens of women and children have been kidnapped for ransom over the last two years.

It all climaxed with the kidnap and gruesome murder of Suzan Magara last year, dragging in President Museveni’s involvement in demanding for the killers and seeing to the sacking of Gen Kale Kayihura from heading Police.

However, the country was early this month thrown into a pit when American tourist Kimberly Sue Endicott and her Congolese-born driver cum guide Jean-Paul Mirenge were kidnapped from Queen Elizabeth National Park at gunpoint.

The kidnappers demanded $500,000 in ransom and reportedly crossed with their victims into Dr Congo, leading to payment of the ransom before the two were released on April 7.

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