Self-kidnap cases on the rise as poverty eats Ugandans to the bones

Posted: 2018-04-18T09:21:45Z
Self-kidnap cases on the rise as poverty eats Ugandans to the bones

Ugandans have found a new way to deal with poverty which continues to eat many of them to the bones. The newest form to make money is by self-kidnap.

Last month, a man kidnapped self and asked his wife to pay 1.5 Million Shillings for ransom. When finally arrested by police, he claimed the bank was on his neck to pay a loan he had taken.

But that was not the only Ugandan to do that, lately, many people especially students and youths are using the same system to steal from their parents or boyfriends/girlfriends.

In March alone, police received more than 20 cases of kidnap. Six of these were discovered to have been self-kidnaps. 

Records from the police Flying Squad, indicate that between 2015 and February 2018 a total of 48 people of different ages and gender were reported kidnapped. Out of these, 26 of the victims were recovered alive while eight of them were found dead.

But, of the total 48 cases, eight were of self-kidnap with only two of them reported in 2017, two in 2016 and two in 2015. In January and February 2018, two cases were reported. 

Police spokesperson Emilian Kayima, says the increased self-kidnaps have caused a diversion of police manpower from legitimate kidnap cases.

Cases of three students asking for ransom from their parents, and a young woman identified as Mariam Uwase asking for money from the boyfriend are among those registered recently. 

33 year old Denis Alyenyo, a son to the Amolatar District Coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation, Lt Col Francis Angiya, is also listed among the self-kidnap cases. He was reportedly kidnapped late last month only to resurface on April 9. The list also has 27-year-old Phillip Tumwebaze who disappeared shortly before his wedding and was tracked to his friend's home. 

According to a source working in Flying Squad Unit, in the three years he has worked in the unit, there has been no legitimate case of kidnap of a male adult.

"Individuals most prone to kidnap are children and women. When you see a boy above the age of 18 or a man reported kidnapped, it's either a self-kidnap or he is in police custody or something like that” the spurce said.

21-year-old Mariam Uwase is the most recent case. Uwase is currently detained at Old Kampala Police Station for obtaining money by false pretence and giving false information to police. 

According to the police File, On April 9, a case of kidnap was reported at Lugala Police Station after a call was made asking for a ransom.  The boyfriend paid 700,000 shillings as commitment to pay the remaining.

On Sunday April 15, Flying Squad operatives tracked a number that had been used to call and ask for a 25 million shillings ransom from a boyfriend whose identity is withheld. It was found in possession of Uwase.