By Michael Atwakiire
Sheema: A deadly war has erupted between a popular politician who is aspiring for the Sheema South constituency Member of Parliament and a Boda-boda rider, who accuses him of allegedly snatching his wife and trafficking her to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Evans Mutsinguzi Betantara, 37 years old, a Boda-boda rider in Kishabya trading Centre, Shuuku town council, Sheema District, alleges that Sheema South MP aspirant Nickson Tugume Banduho snatched his wife and illegally exported her to Abu Dhabi for greener pastures, but that ever since then she is stranded there and very sick.
Mutsinguzi, a resident of Kinogo cell, Kirundo ward in Sheema District, told this reporter that Tugume, through his labour exportation company Afrisan, secretly met his wife Generous Kamakune, in January this year, after which he processed for her travel papers and she flew to Saudi Arabia without his knowledge.
Mutsinguzi said that what made him shed tears was watching a video circulating on social media showing his lovely wife suffering and calling for help from Uganda’s government to rescue her because she got stranded in Saudi Arabia following the COVID-19 outbreak. In the said video, Kamakune was filmed together with other women stranded outside the Ugandan embassy in Saudi Arabia.
“It was around 28th January when my wife told me that she wanted to go and look for money. When I asked her where, she told me Nyabushozi, in Kiruhura District, and that she was going to work at plantations, but I refused. However, I used to hear that Tugume’s team by that time, was moving around Sheema looking for people to take to the United Arab Emirates for greener pastures.
So one day when I returned from work I didn’t find her at home. When I asked the children where she was, they told me that she had gone to Mbarara. I called her phone number but she didn’t answer. When I talked to her parents a day after, they told me that she had called and told them that she was at Entebbe going abroad and that she was being taken by Tugume,” Mutsinguzi said.
He added that; “I later reported the matter to the Chairperson LC1 Kinogo and thereafter asked Tugume how he colluded with my wife and sent her abroad without my knowledge. However, he didn’t give me much attention.
He said a few months later, his wife contacted him, pleading with him to convince Tugume to return her to Uganda, saying that she was sick and that had never earned anything, despite working as a domestic worker.
“I went to Tugume’s home with sister-in-law, but he told us that my wife isn’t sick. That she was lying and that most Ugandans, after getting used to living in poverty, when they get a salary of Shs3M, they become so excited and feel like returning home to party,” Mutsinguzi revealed.
Patricia Baryamuzaara, Kamakune’s mother, said that she last talked to her daughter on phone when she was at Entebbe airport and during their conversation she told her that she was being taken by Tugume and his driver.
“I have been told that she can’t walk because of sickness; that her legs may be amputated because of the too much pain she is experiencing. If I die today before seeing my daughter, those who took her shouldn’t be forgiven in Heaven,” Baryamuzaara said.
However, when this reporter contacted Tugume about the allegations, he smartly, clearly and abusively replied thus; “Foolish! Never call me again asking me such nonsense! What’s the name of my company? Have you ever started a company in your life? Do you know that there are primary seven dropouts who are in the Middle East earning more than you stupid journalist? I know they are using you to achieve some people’s goals. But let them use you and after dumping you, come and I give you a job, otherwise you will die poor. I know when and where you met Ephraim Kamuntu (minister) and Beda (Generous’ brother), who are making their film. Do you know that more than 15000 Ugandans have been employed and achieved a lot? why can’t you report about that, why this one?”
Meanwhile, the Sheema District Resident Commissioner (RDC) Frank Kyereere Besigye, confirmed that Mutsinguzi had already reported the matter at Sheema Central police station and are now waiting for Tugume to record his too.
“I asked Mutsinguzi to bring me his marriage certificate and he did. So I advised him to go to police and report the case which he did. If we find the allegations true, automatically Tugume shall face charges of human trafficking and destroying a legal marriage. I condemn the act because even the Bible says that what God has united, no one should put asunder, then who are you to separate married couples,” RDC Kyerere said.