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POLICEMEN KIDNAP ACCOUNTANT, DEMAND $ 100,000

KAMPALA. The Flying Squad Unit of the police on Monday rescued a man who had been kidnapped by men led by a police superintendent, who threatened to kill him unless he paid a ransom of $100,000 (about Shs360m).
Mr Gerald Yashaba, a resident of Bukasa, a Kampala City suburb, now lives in fear after the ordeal that lasted more than 12 hours. He told this newspaper on Thursday that the Monday incident had left him traumatised.
Mr Yashaba, an accountant at Lamba Enterprises Ltd, a construction company based at Kibuli in Kampala, said he had been warned about a kidnap but he took it lightly.
The kidnap incident happened when Mr Yashada, having dropped his children at Silver Spoon Nursery School in Kibuli, stopped at Total filling station in Kibuli to fuel his car. In a worrying twist of events, Mr Yashada was driven to Kabalagala Police Station after the kidnap, before being taken to different locations in Kampala.
Mr Yashaba is a co-director in Lamba Enterprises Ltd with Christopher Obey, a former principal accountant in the Ministry of Public Service at the centre of an embezzlement scam that hit the pension sector.
The police officers, travelling in a white Mark II car, blocked Mr Yashaba just as he was fuelling his car and bundled him into the back seat of his car and sped off.
Captured on camera
A CCTV recording at the scene shows Mr Yashaba being bundled into a dark grey Toyota Corolla car by a group of men, who later sat on him. He was then driven off to Kabalagala Police Station and introduced as a suspect by Superintendent Gerald Edyegu, who had “arrested” him.
The incident comes at a time when President Museveni has told the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, to clean up the Force.
While driving from Kabalagala to Centenary Park in the city centre, the police officers allegedly robbed Mr Yashaba of Shs3 million, two pairs of keys (home and office), a wallet and two phones. Mr Yashaba said one of the suspects had trailed him to Ibanda as he travelled to bury a relative.
He said his kidnappers suspected he was keeping four sacks of US dollars from Obey.
Mr Yashaba said his kidnap had been planned overtime as one of his captors, Mr John Atuhaire, said he had tried to gain access to his house but was deterred by guard dogs. He said last year, two of his German Shepherd dogs were poisoned.
At Centenary Park in Kyoto Turkish Bar and Restaurant, Mr Edyegu and Mr Atuhaire ordered Mr Yashaba to call a close friend to raise the ransom sum or get killed.
Back home, Ms Christine Yashaba’s attempts to call her husband failed, prompting her to alert her brother, Paul Gulindwa, who then rushed to the Directorate of CID in Kibuli that referred him to the Commandant Flying Squad, Mr Herbert Muhangi at Central Police Station (CPS) Kampala.
Tricked
Mr Gulindwa said since Flying Squad seemed hesitant to act, the family organised fake $50,000 (Shs178m) that they used to trap the suspects.
Mr Yashaba’s friend then called Mr Atuhaire, one of the kidnappers, to pick up the money from Mr Gulindwa from Parliament Avenue. But unknown to Mr Atuhaire, officers from the Flying Squad were lying in wait. They arrested Mr Atuhaire near UBC headquarters amid firing from the Flying Squad, along with Dennis Ogwang and Moses Batambuze, both Special hire drivers. But two other suspects escaped.
Mr Edyegu, who attempted to escape, was arrested and disarmed without resistance at Dewinton Road near Parliament and taken to CPS Kampala.

Incident confirmed
The supervisor at Total filling station in Kibuli, Mr Obadiah Semanda, confirmed the incident, saying they tried to resist since Mr Yashaba was a known customer.
At Centenary Park, nobody was willing to speak on record, but the manager of Kyoto Turkish Bar and Restaurant, who declined to be named, confirmed the suspects and victim had been to the place. She said it was her bosses who knew everything since they had interacted with Mr Edyegu and the person he was walking with.
At Kidz Avenue where Mr Yashaba was taken, workers there confirmed seeing SP Edyegu, who they said sat in the children play area with some men.
They said they did not suspect anything because Mr Edyegu visited the place regularly and even issued instructions to police officers guarding the nearby Nakumatt Supermarket.
Mr Assan Kasingye, the police spokesperson, confirmed Mr Edyegu’s arrest, but by press time, he said he did not have much detail because he was locked in long meetings.
Mr Edyegu is a serving officer –in-charge of Nsambya Police Barracks and also cantonment commander at Jinja Road areas of Punjani and Centenary Park. 

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