In Mukono, authorities have apprehended three individuals claiming to be spiritual healers on charges of abducting a 5-year-old girl and extorting her parents with the threat of a sacrificial ritual unless they cough up Shs50m.
The young victim, Aidah Nantongo, was taken from her grandmother’s residence in Seeta trading center, Mukono municipality, with the arrested suspects identified as Ashiraf Mugayirwa from Burehe in Kaliro District, Michael Gerald Ochwo from Kigaya in Buikwe District, and Robert Sentongo residing in Nantabulriwa, Goma division, Mukono municipality. The trio reportedly held the girl captive for a week.
Reports suggest that the perpetrators ambushed Nantongo on her way to Seeta SDA Primary School, abducting her in the morning and concealing her whereabouts. Concerned about her absence, Nantongo’s grandmother, Babrah Galiwango, contacted the school, triggering a frantic search for the missing child.
Galiwango promptly reported the incident to Mukono Police, initiating an investigation. Throughout the inquiry, the alleged kidnappers maintained contact with Galiwango, demanding a ransom of Shs50m for her granddaughter’s release. Utilizing phone tracking technology, law enforcement successfully traced and apprehended the suspects, leading to the discovery of Nantongo in a shrine in Kaliro District.
One of the arrested individuals, Mugayirwa, claimed that they resorted to kidnapping due to Galiwango’s failure to settle a debt of Shs2m for their services in cleansing her demon-possessed garden. He asserted that their intention was to retrieve the money and return the girl unharmed.
Contrary to Mugayirwa’s statement, Galiwango insisted that the perpetrators had been threatening to harm the child and dispose of her in Lugazi.
Hajjat Fatuma Ndisaba, the presidential envoy to Mukono, emphasized the need for parents to remain vigilant in safeguarding their children, especially during the extended holiday period. She also cautioned against engaging in witchcraft activities.
Ndisaba commended the police for their swift action in apprehending the criminals and rescuing the innocent girl. The three suspects are currently held at Mukono Police CPS, awaiting court proceedings.