What late last month started as an ordinary case of a three-year-old child going missing from her parent’s home in Namaliiri trading center, Kasawo sub-county in Mukono District ended with a shocking discovery that the toddler had been murdered in what is believed to be a case of ritual sacrifice.
Hope Biyinzika’s mutilated body was found decomposing in a pit latrine near her parents’ home on Monday (October 2) after her disappearance on September 22.
The initial week-long frantic search and rescue efforts after she went missing soon after she returned home from Skylak Junior School, which is located about 150 meters from her parents’ home yielded no fruit.
The deceased was in Baby Class. Police camera in Namaliiri trading centre clearly showed late Biyinzika crossing the busy road from school at 1:20 PM.
But the child upon arriving at home did not find her parents as they had gone somewhere. She then stayed with her elder siblings as they waited for the parents to return. It is suspected that the assailants took advantage of this to adduct and kill the girl.
According to Mr Contance Nyiransega, the Naggalama Division Police CID boss, after the disappearance of Biyinzika, her parents reported the case of missing person to police.
However, her father, Mr Vincent Kikonge said a day after his daughter went missing, his wife, one Mwajaabu received a distressing phone call from an unknown person who informed her that he knew the whereabouts of the child and asked for a Shs5 million ransom to release her to them.
“We pleaded with the stranger to reduce the ransom amount until they agreed to pay Shs2.8 million. We looked around and paid Shs1 million in installments as we bought time to allow security to carry out investigations and also search for the assailants,” Mr Kikonge said. They sent the money to the assailants via mobile money.
But despite giving them part of the ransom money they did not get the child, which according to multiple sources prompted the parents to inform Gen Katumba Wamala, the minister for Transport and Works, who is one of the residents in the area about the incident.
It was at this point that Gen Katumba involved the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) in the search for the missing girl.
Tracking the assailants phone call data, a police source said on Wednesday, it was discovered that the person whose mobile money telephone number was used to receive the Shs1 million ransom was for three days staying in a house located near the deceased’s parents’ home during the time the child went missing.
“It was also discovered through call logs that one of the occupants of that house where the stranger had been discovered to have stayed, had called the phone owner many times,” a police source said.
As security went on with its investigations, one of the residents reported to area LCs about a strong stench that was coming out of the toilets near the deceased’s home.
Security operatives were informed about the stench before they embarked on digging the pit latrine where the decomposing mutilated body of Biyinzika was found. The neck was slit while the tongue, private parts and breasts had been cut off and taken.
Consequently, security arrested six people, all residents in the neighborhood of late Biyinzika’s parents. One of the suspects now in police custody is a witch doctor, a security source told this reporter.
“We are still investigating this matter but our preliminary findings show that the six are connected to the murder of this innocent child,” a police detective said.
Mr Fred Enanga, the police Force spokesperson said more suspects believed to have participated in the murder are being sought by security.