In a bizarre turn of events, Jinja police have apprehended 38-year-old Faridah Namugera of Buwagi village, Budondo sub-county, Jinja district, for allegedly orchestrating her own kidnapping in an attempt to secure money to settle debts.
The controversial incident unfolded on January 3, 2024, when Namugera’s husband, Michael Ngobi, 41, reported a kidnapping case at Budondo police station. Ngobi claimed that his wife had been abducted on her way to Budondo Health Center IV for antenatal services.
According to police reports, Ngobi detailed the movements of the supposed abductors, including the use of a motor vehicle (Noah) passing through Amber-court, joining Jinja-Iganga highway, and driving off to a location called Jami in Budaka district.
SP James Mubi, the Kiira region police spokesperson, revealed that police responded swiftly, deploying flying squads and senior trackers. GPS coordinates indicated that Faridah Namugera was actually within Namulesa, a Jinja city suburb.
The alleged kidnappers reportedly demanded a ransom of UGX 2 million using Namugera’s phone number, causing panic among family members. They managed to mobilize UGX 1.43 million, which was deposited into her mobile money account.
Contrary to the reported kidnapping, investigations uncovered that since January 3, Namugera had been hiding at a friend’s home in Namulesa, indulging in alcoholic beverages and consuming pork.
“On Friday, police found Faridah at a friend’s place in Namulesa boozing beers and eating pork,” stated Mubi.
Under rigorous police interrogation, Namugera admitted to fabricating her own kidnapping, collaborating with her husband to obtain school fees for their four children. She disclosed that the family has been grappling with a debt of two million shillings since 2022.
The couple was subsequently apprehended and detained at Buwenge police station in Jinja district. They now face charges of providing false information to the police.
Mubi emphasized the disruption caused by the couple’s actions, noting the unnecessary panic and suspicion generated in Budondo, Jinja district. The false reporting of a nonexistent crime led to police efforts to recover the alleged victim and the potential arrest of non-existent culprits.