KAMPALA – Uganda Police’s Flying Squad unit has shot and killed one of the notorious child kidnappers, during what was described as; ‘a violent a confronting, with an arresting team.’
The suspect, whom Police spokesperson, SCP Fred Enanga identified, Fred Mwanje, 28, was pronounced dead from the scene of the shooting at his hideout in Salaama – Munyonyo, Kampala on December 2, 2022.
According to Enanga, Mwanje was linked to four incidents of child kidnap for ransom, at the time of death.
Enanga revealed that Mwanje had on November 19, 2022, approached the home of Abdu Bulega under the guise of recruiting talented youthful footballers for a holiday programme. He continued that Bulega’s partner, and mother of Najib Muyingo – Shamim Nakawungo had responded to Mwanje’s knock onto the gate.
“He inquired whether they had adult children, who were interested in professional football training. The mother (Nakawungo,) requested him to contact her husband – Bulega, sharing his contacts.
“At around 3:00pm, the victim – seven-year old, Muyingo was kidnapped, when both parents were away, from their home in Kibiri ‘A’ zone, Busabala ward, in Wakiso district.
“Later in the day, at around 5:00pm, the suspect, rang the victim’s father, on his contact number and demanded a ransom of Ugx 3m, in exchange for the release of the victim and also for the reason as to why he kidnapped him.
“Amidst police investigations, the victim’s (parents) paid a ransom of Ugx 2m, and the victim was handed over to the parents after medical examination.
Ten days later, according to police, at around 5:00pm, the Mwanje reportedly kidnapped another victim – Quiram Ssegawa, six, from their home at Makerere Kinoni Rubaga division, demanding a a ransom of Ugx 2m – instructing the parents to post the money unto an airtel line number 0701790104, in exchange for their son’s release.
“The suspect kept changing his location from Kulekana, Entebbe, Namulanda, Kampala, Taxi Park, Bweyogerere and Mabira.
“He was eventually tracked down to his home in Salaama- Munyonyo, where he was fatally wounded during a violent confrontation. A motorcycle registration number UEM 418Z, which was being used in the kidnaps, was recovered as exhibit,” narrated Enanga in a statement, adding that the proceeds from the ransoms were being used to construct his house in Mukono.
“We have also noticed that parents and relatives of child victims were paying ransom to the kidnappers, which is very dangerous, since it endangers other young children, by providing an incentive for child kidnappers and copycat criminals. We re-iterate that we do not encourage, endorse or condone the payment of ransoms,” noted Enanga.
“We would like to further warn parents, guardians and local leaders of an uptick in child kidnaps, where the kidnappers surveys particular neighbourhoods for families that are above average and gather specific information about them.
“They kidnap their loved ones and coerce the family members into paying a ransom quickly to ensure a victim’s release. The lack of vigilance and easy get a way by motorcycles has created a terrible environment for kidnaps,” warned Enanga.