Kidnaps: Mother Spends UGX 8M to Search for Missing Two Sons

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Solome Nakibuuka seated at home in Busabala and her young children. Photo by Cynthia Naggayi.

December 8th, 2020 will take long to fade from the memory of Solome Nakibuuka, 44, a resident of Busabala, Wakiso district. It’s the day when her two sons— 23-year-old Denis Matovu and 25 year Richard Sonko—went missing. Nakibuuka says her sons were cab drivers, with Sonko often chauffeuring money loaded South Sudanese around Kampala while Matovu was a gig driver, chauffeuring anyone who wanted a special car hire. 

On the day they were kidnapped, Nakibuuka says Matovu left home around 6:00 am, going to meet his brother Sonko at Lukuli- Nanganda trading center in Makindye, who had got him an assignment of driving a lawyer for a full day. She did not communicate with any of them during the day.

At around 7:00 pm, Nakibuuka says she got a phone call from her sons’ paternal uncle Julius Muyige who was in the same locality, informing her that he saw Matovu being hand-picked by four men casually-dressed, hurling him into a waiting numberless white Toyota Hiace vehicle, now notoriously known as the drone.

Muyige told Nakibuuka that when Sonko ran and started pulling his brother’s hand, he was equally grabbed and bundled in the vehicle together with Matovu. The family has never heard of them again.  What followed, Nakibuuka says was a frantic search for the duo that has lasted more than two months. Nakibuuka wept as she explained how she spent the night awake and went to Katwe Police Station the following day to report a case. And she says, she has had nightmares about her missing sons.  

The search, she says has been costly, with many people coming and telling her, “give me UGX 100,000 and I got to search here, give me UGX 300,000 and I go to check in this prison.” Nakibuuka has also hired several vehicles moving from prison to prison and army bases in search of her sons. 

In this search, Nakibuuka says she has spent more than Shillings 8 Million.

There are people; she says who asked for Shillings 5million and Shillings 3 million respectively to help bring her sons back. This is money she didn’t have.

Like many parents whose kids are missing, Nakibuuka says she is now left with listening to the news on radio and television waiting for the list of people under detention from government.

The president directed security agencies to release the list. The army handed over the list to the police. But there has been a pull and push between the two institutions, with police claiming it cannot account for people it has not seen.

Benjamin Katana, the lawyer handling this case told URN that he has failed to locate the two. He says they have not appeared before any court. Katana also says he filed an application in the high court which he says is yet to be reviewed.

“Well, they were supporters of Kyagulanyi, but have not appeared before any court. We hope to locate them when they are still alive,” he said.  Nakibuuka has been dealing in second-hand clothes at Kalungi Complex along Nakivubo road. She had no choice but to close her business because she spent all her savings on the search of her missing sons.