By Jeff Andrew Lule
Three people, including a pastor, have been detained for human trafficking by the Criminal Investigations Directorate’s (CID) Anti-Human Trafficking Bureau in collaboration with the Territorial Police in Bulenga and Mukono.
They are Pastor Jackline Kisoma, 34, her husband Daniel Kisoma, 42, and a man named Edward Giita, 48.
The three were allegedly harbouring three St. Francis Nursing School, Namataba students for two months when they were discovered, according to police spokesperson Fred Enanga.
“Two more adult females from Kibale and Masindi, recruited into the religious cult under the pretence of Bible teaching, were also rescued,” he said.
Enanga made the remarks during Monday’s weekly joint security briefing, at the police headquarters in Nagruru, Nakawa division, Kampala on March 27, 2023.
The pastor was operating from a rented house inside a tall wall fence in Nakuwadde, with only two bedrooms, housing 21 people.
“Her church is not registered, only fellowships, and she teaches the Bible at her home. Her teachings are against education, which they claim is useless and there was no need for studying in schools,” Enanga said.
He stressed that the ‘religious cult’ was also against hospitals, in case one fell sick.
“They would just pray for the person and block them from going to the hospital. And once a person is recruited, he or she is confined in the premises, and prohibited from moving out,” Enanga added.
The arrest of the three suspected traffickers followed after the mother of one of the victims went to pay her a visit at St. Francis Nursing School, and was found when she had left school, two months back.
Enanga said a team of investigators tracked her down to Nakuwadde village in Bulenga, Nakabugo Parish in Wakiso district.
He said two of her other colleagues aged 18 and 23, all students of the nursing school, were also found.
Enanga noted that the suspects also removed their children from school and would spend the whole day and night, praising, worshiping, and in bible lessons.
The 15 victims were put in a shelter home undergoing counseling and rehabilitation.
He said the case file was submitted to the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal guidance on the charges of human trafficking and unlawful confinement.
“The female victims are meanwhile undergoing medical examinations, to help prove or disprove any acts of sexual violence,” he added.