By Ronald Nahabwe
Kanungu : The Chief Magistrate’s Court in Kanungu district has charged two suspects on three counts of aggravated robbery and kidnap of American Tourist, Ms Kimberly Sue Endicott and her driver Jean Paul Mirenge. Court seating on Thursday, 18th April, 2019 charged a former convict and a mastermind of the kidnap identified as Onesmus Byaruhanga alias Kaliisa alias Kawonawo alias Kasurubana, a 43- year-old-male, and resident of Kisamba Cell, Southern Ward, Kanungu town Council, and Nyanga Cell, Kihiihi Town Council, in Kanungu district.
The charge sheet for the two suspects states that on the 2nd April, 2019, the suspects played a supportive role, of monitoring the movements of the American Tourist from Bwindi National Park to Queen Elizabeth National Park, and furnished the kidnapping team with details that facilitated the kidnapping of Kimberly and her driver. The former convict, who was highly involved in the post–kidnap demands for ransom, is also accused of planning and carrying out typical kidnappings, aggravated robberies and murdering a resident in Kanungu town Council some time back. The suspects were not allowed to take plea as their cases are of a capital nature and can only be heard by the high court. While speaking to Spyuganda, police spokesperson Fred Enanga revealed that police are still investigating the matter in order to bring more culprits who were involved in the kidnap to book.
“We plan to file additional charges against him and his criminal associates. The task team is also reviewing circumstances under which members of this local kidnapping ring were granted bail on similar charges of kidnap before court.” Enanga said. He added that; “We want to inform the public that the police and its sister security agencies have largely been successful in their efforts to combat kidnappings in the country, and a large part of their success is attributed to the effective Anti-kidnap strategies in place, with close cooperation from the community. So far, the kidnapping ring in Kanungu district has been dismantled, additional suspects are being processed, and the operation to apprehend the known remaining perpetrators of the criminal kidnapping enterprise is still ongoing.” Kimberly and her driver were released a few days after their kidnap amidst rumours that Over Shs100m had been paid as ransom to the kidnappers.