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Residents of Hima parish in Kyenjojo district have been shocked by a case in which a 15-year-old boy is accused of abducting his baby sister.
The boy, whose identity has been protected because he is a minor, allegedly abducted his nine-month-old sister on Tuesday this week. The Kyenjojo district CID chief, John Gahwa, says that when the baby was reported missing, residents of Hima parish, which is located in Bugaki sub-county, were mobilized to hunt for the infant. It was soon discovered that the teenager, who was last seen with the baby, was also missing.
Officer Gahwa says that a day later, a group of villagers found the boy hiding in a bush, crying inconsolably. He was roughed up and taken to the police by the villagers, many who were friends of his stepmother and mother of the missing child, Jessica Mbabazi.
On interrogation the boy reportedly confessed his crime to the police. He claimed that a rich man, whose names have been withheld to protect the integrity of the investigation, promised him a car and some money if he abducted his sister. He repeatedly said he was sorry for his actions, but was locked up and is awaiting charging before a juvenile court.
Meanwhile the police are on the tail of the prime suspect in the case. Officer Gahwa says he will be arrested to establish the validity of the teenager's claims.
According to the police, child abduction and ritual child sacrifice are a real threat to minors in Uganda. The 2007 annual crime report released this month indicates that last year 62 children around the country were stolen. Of these, one was kidnapped, 21 were abducted, 20 went missing and four were stolen by their parents or relatives.