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Kidnapped 10-Year-Old Recovered in Kisoro, Culprit Apprehended

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A 10-year-old pupil in Kisoro district, who was abducted by a Congolese national identified as Hakiza, has been successfully recovered. John Mary Vianney Irankunda, a student at Nshungwe Primary School, was kidnapped on October 22, 2023. Hakiza, who had worked for Irankunda’s parents as a casual laborer, disappeared with the victim and demanded an sh8 million ransom from the child’s father, Moses Bakunzi Ninzeyimana.

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In response to the demand, Bakunzi wired sh2 million to Hakiza’s mobile phone. However, Hakiza refused to release the child until the balance was paid. On Tuesday, Hakiza handed over the victim to a mobile money agent in DR Congo, Jules Mbonigaba, to transport him to Mpaka town council. At the Ugandan immigration offices, Mbonigaba was intercepted and arrested.

Mbonigaba, claiming the child was given to him by Hakiza, disclosed Hakiza’s whereabouts. Boaz Arinetwe, Kisoro District Police community liaison officer, stated that Mbonigaba is detained at Kisoro Police Station pending further investigations. Charges may be filed based on guidance from the office of the Resident State Attorney.

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Robert Tukamuheebwa, Kisoro Deputy Resident District Commissioner, explained that tracking Hakiza was challenging as he used a Ugandan number to communicate with the victim’s parents despite being a Congolese national.

Bakunzi expressed his initial despair but is now relieved after the recovery of his son from the wrong hands.

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