Kampala. A born-again pastor and three others have been arrested over the murder of a 19-year-old girl Brinah Nalule who was kidnapped from Kampala Old Taxi Park on Sunday night.
Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigire identified the pastor as Ronald Wambuzi who runs a church in Namwezi, Mbikko in Buikwe District. The pastor is detained at Kampala Central Police Station.
“We have the pastor in our custody because he is one of the last people who were seen with this girl. The information we have gathered indicates he spent some time with her and he is helping us in investigations,” Mr Owoyesigire said.
The girl’s father, Mr Godfrey Kasozi, yesterday said police informed him that they had arrested three more suspects, but Mr Owoyesigire could not deny or confirm the arrests.
He only said investigations were progressing well.
Mr Owoyesigire said police arrested Wambuzi on Tuesday after information indicated he had been with Nalule hours before her kidnap.
“The pastor confirmed to us that he was called by the kidnappers and he decided to inform the girl’s parents because he knows them. He denied involvement in the events that led to Nalule’s death,” Mr Owoyesigire said.
Nalule, a student of YMCA Buwambo campus in Wakiso District, was kidnapped on Sunday and later murdered when her parents did not pay the Shs10m ransom the killers had demanded.
The kidnappers first used her mobile phone to demand the ransom which the parents could not raise in two days.
Nalule’s body was recovered in Kibaawo Zone, Mutundwe in Lubaga Division, Kampala.
Her body was identified by her parents at Mulago hospital mortuary on Tuesday. Her tongue and private parts had been cut off by the killers.
Police sources said the medical examination showed Nalule was raped severally before she was strangled.
Mr Owoyesigire said the killers on Wednesday used another phone to ask her father to refund the money they had used to kidnap his daughter.
Nalule’s mother, Ms Faridah Kobusingye, said the kidnappers called past midnight demanding Shs10m, but they did not readily have the money.
“I pleaded with them to give us time since we did not have the money that night. They refused. At 4:30am, they called and put my daughter on phone.
She said the suspects had prepared machetes they were to use to kill her.
She also said a polythene bag had also been set aside in which her body was to be put,” Ms Kobusingye recounted.
The mother said she pleaded with them that the money would be sent.
“We made several calls and we were able to get only Shs3m. When they called, they said they wanted more money lest our daughter be killed,” she narrated, adding that that was the last time they heard their daughter alive.
The deceased’s brother, Mr Yasser Kisule, said during the phone negotiations, police officers tracked and discovered the negotiator was at the Old Taxi Park in Kampala and the CCTV footage showed the suspect was dressed in a red shirt and black trouser, but was not with the victim.
“We do not know why the police didn’t arrest him,” Mr Kisule said.
Mr Kasozi said his daughter was living in a hostel at campus in Buwambo but was enticed by pastor Wambuzi who sent her Shs25,000 for transport to his home in Mbikko last Friday.
Pastor Wambuzi had reportedly stayed with the girl at his home for two days before the kidnap.
Mr Kasozi said it was Mr Wambuzi who first informed him of his daughter’s kidnap.
He said wondered why the kidnappers called the pastor first instead of him.
Mr Kasozi said when he inquired from the pastor’s neighbours, they told him Nalule and Wambuzi had been together for two days.
“I got to know the pastor when I learnt that he was sexually disturbing my girl who was then in Senior Two. I reported a case at Nakibizzi Police Station but I was not helped. When he told me that my daughter had been kidnapped, I knew he had done something wrong to my child,” Mr Kasozi told Daily Monitor.
He said he asked pastor Wambuzi to accompany him to Kampala Central Police Station where they reported a case of missing person.
Mr Kasozi said he told police that neighbours had confirmed seeing the pastor with Nalule on the day of the kidnap. Police interrogated Wambuzi, who according to Mr Owoyesigire, admitted to having been with the girl but denied knowledge about her kidnap and eventual murder.
Nalule is said to have left pastor Wambuzi’s home at 2pm with Shs70,000 as pocket money but was kidnapped by at the Old Taxi Park as she went to board a taxi back to her hostel.
Cases of kidnap this year
January 2: Francis Ekalungar Case Hospital accountant is kidnapped and his body is recovered two days later dumped in Kajjansi on Entebbe Road burnt beyond recognition.
February 7: Susan Magara is kidnapped on February7 and spends 20 days in hands of criminals before her body is found dumped on February 27 at Kigo on Entebbe Expressway.
March 31: Two brothers are arrested for allegedly kidnapping a four-year-old girl, Resty Kahunde, a daughter of Ms Beatrice Kahunde and Mr Samuel Mugenyi.
March 24: Charity Kyohirwe, a resident of Masajja Parish in Makindye Division, is kidnapped and found killed after missing for a few days. Police said she was allegedly kidnapped and killed in a mission masterminded by her husband.
March 19: Aramazan Kibirige, a resident of Kagoma in Nansana Municipality, Wakiso District, is kidnapped and killed when he was going to buy hardware items worth Shs73m.
April 14: Police arrest five people for allegedly kidnapping a two-year-old child in Kitezi, Wakiso District. The suspects were found hiding the child in one of their homes with intent of getting ransom from parents.
April 27: Abel Katende is kidnapped from his Masuulita home and his body retrieved in a pit-latrine a week later.
April 5: Elizabeth Nakato is kidnapped and killed on April 5 by her relatives. Her body is found dumped in Matugga at the border of Wakiso and Luweero districts.
May 7: Businessman Saaka Kafeero is kidnapped as he heads to Mukono Municipality to bank some money. He was killed and his body was found dumped by the roadside in Kira Municipality.