Woman arrested after abducting 4-year-old boy over Shs 200,000 mother’s debt

Woman arrested after abducting 4-year-old boy over Shs 200,000 mother's debt
Sharon Kihembo

Kampala, Uganda | URN | Police in Kabalagala have arrested a woman who abducted a 4-year-old boy after his mother allegedly failed to pay a Shs 200,000 debt. 

Jacqueline Basilika says Sharon Kihembo approached her at around 9 pm on Tuesday 4, July 2021 and asked for her son to help her carry items she had left at the boda-boda stage.

Since the two have known each other in Kanyogoga village, Bukasa Parish, Makindye Division, Basilika did not hesitate and allowed her son to help Kihembo without knowing that the plan was to abduct him.

Basilika says that she later received distressing information from another friend, Grace Alenyo, that Kihembo had called on her phone demanding clearance of the debt before she could release the child. Alenyo said Kihembo told her that she gave the money to Basilika when she was pregnant with the abducted boy but she did not bother paying back – some four years later. 

“True, I owe her the Shs 200,000 she gave me when I was pregnant. But I didn’t know that she could reach the extent of abducting my child. She even said that she needed now Shs 800,000, not the Shs 200,000 she gave me,” Basilika told police.

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However, police on Thursday 6, July 2023 recovered the boy after arresting Kihembo from Nakasero market in Kampala city. Kihembo later led police to Makindye-Salama where she had hidden the boy as she waited for Basilika to send the money. 

Luke Owoyesigyire, the deputy Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, said Kihembo’s arrest came after residents tipped the police. Police have since reunited the boy with his mother Basilika while Kihembo is now in Kabalagala police custody waiting to face charges of abduction in court.

“We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the community members who provided information and assisted in the investigation. The collaboration between the police and the public played a pivotal role in the recovery of Engole Mark,” Owoyesigyire said.