Businessman David Katumwa on Friday was arraigned before Makindye Magistrates Court and charged with abduction. The charge attracts a jail sentence of seven years.
The court heard that on September 24, 2020, in Luwafu zone, Makindye division, Katumwa, a candidate for the Nansana municipality parliamentary seat unlawfully took a minor from the custody or protection of her parents. The 16-old girl disappeared from her mother’s home in Zana, a suburb of Kampala after being questioned about the source of the money she used to buy a smartphone.
A case of a missing person was then filed by her mother at Zana police station. But she was eventually informed that her daughter had been sighted at Katumwa’s home in the same area. She confirmed the same after seeing the girl in Katumwa’s vehicle leading to his eventual arrest.
However, Katumwa, 46, has denied the charge and yesterday, he asked to be released on bail. He presented three sureties among them his friends and a neighbour who according to the prosecution had been examined and found to be substantial.
The prosecution led by Lydia Nakato requested that in case the court accepts to grant Katumwa bail, stringent conditions should be imposed to prevent him from interfering with the investigations and also ensure that he attends court.
Accordingly, the magistrate granted Katumwa a cash bail of one million Shillings and each of his sureties was told to execute a non-cash bond of three million Shillings.
After being set free, the Katumwa Sports Centre Proprietor told journalists that the allegations against him were politically motivated aimed at tarnishing his name.
“Its work of my political enemies but I want to assure you that I’m not backing down. Nansana Municipality people I am the right person who should represent you in the next parliament.
“To prove that I’m innocent, I’m going to help the parents of the missing daughter to find her,” Katumwa said.
Katumwa was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly sleeping with an underage school going child.
The mother of the girl, Yasmin Ahmed, 37, a resident of Makindye Kizungu, Kampala, who reported a case of missing person last month at Katwe Police Station, said her daughter, Nadia Najjingo,16, disappeared from home on September 25.
“I began to search for my daughter until I got information from her cousin Bakran, 17, who said Najjingo could be at Katumwa’s home and that he is the one who bought for her the phone,’’ Ms Ahmed indicated in her police statement.
Ibrahim Kafuma, the stepfather of the girl, told police that when they got information that she was missing and suspected her to be at Katumwa’s home, he rang the businessman but he did not answer the calls.
“The next day when Katumwa called me, I went to his home and he told me the missing girl was at his place but he escorted her out of his home and left her to go home,’’ Mr Kafuma said.
Police say on October 15, Bakran called the mother that someone had seen the girl in Katumwa’s car in Nateete, Kampala. The mother then called Katumwa but before she could talk to him, he asked her about the whereabouts of the girl.
The Deputy spokesperson for Kampala Metropolitan Police, Luke Owoyesigyire confirmed the detention of Katumwa and said investigations revealed a close connection between the girl and Katumwa before she went missing.
The defilement allegation against the Nansana Municipality MP hopeful was first put across by journalist Sadab Kitatta who said that the girl’s father is his friend.
” When schools closed in March due to Covid-19, the businessman who wants to be Nansana Municipality MP started enticing my friend’s daughter. His house at Makindye, Kizungu zone, is not far from my friend’s house which made it easy for him to establish contact with my friend’s 16-year-old daughter,” Kitatta said in a Facebook post on Sunday.
“He would time when her parents are away to bring her pizzas, sometimes the KFC buckets. In the initial stages, he would send teenage boys to deliver his messages, and usually, it is these that landed in the traps of the girl’s parents. Late in August, he bought her a smartphone to ease their communication. This was an expensive phone that the jobless boys of Makindye could not buy. The mother confiscated the phone and a day later, the girl disappeared from home. We had thought that she had gone to one of the relatives but after 2 weeks without hearing from her, search started.”
Kitatta further added that when the girl disappeared, a case was reported to Kizungu Police Post and that’s when the missing girl’s peers told her mother to check at Katumwa’s house.
A neighbour advised the mother not to go without the police. So, she went back to the police post unknowing that the cops are in the pockets of Katumwa Sports Centre proprietor.
“You should have told us that it’s about Katumwa, none of the officers at that police post can handle him, they are his people. The best they can do is to tell him to take the girl to another location,” one of the LC members told the mother.
Indeed, the neighbours saw the girl driving out with him in a car. This was so unsettling to the mother. The father telephoned Katumwa and his response: “I found the girl at home and she told me that she feared coming back to your house.”
“While everyone thought that she would return home since her hideout had been discovered, it never happened. Two days later, the mother called him again but the MP hopeful gave her the same explanation he had given the father. The mother prayed that the girl should be let to speak to at least one of the relatives so that they can be sure that she’s safe.
That evening, the girl established contact with one of the family members and through that contact, the mother sent her a message urging her to return home because her disappearance was going to cost her siblings. The message was that their dad had refused to pay school fees for her brother in P7 who was to return to school last Thursday. Yesterday, Saturday, October 17th, 2020, at about 3:00pm, the girl called her mother offering to meet her brother’s school requirements,” Kitatta noted.
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