Busia, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Police in Busia district have arrested a woman over suspected child trafficking.
The suspect has been identified as Annet Zahra, a resident of Seme village in Buhehe sub-county. She is accused of kidnapping a 13 year old girl, with intention to traffic the minor to an unknown destination in neighboring Kenya.
While recording a statement at police, the suspect said she was taking the child to her sister at an undisclosed place in Kenya.
Charles Wanyama Hasubeni, the LC.3 chairman Buhehe sub-county says that the suspect had kidnapped and hidden the minor in her house for the last four days. This was after the victim’s grandfather and guardian had searched for the minor in vain.
They managed to find the child in the suspect’s house following a tipoff by one of the residents, who visited Annet and heard a child crying in the house.
According to Wanyama, they immediately called for police intervention and police went with the victim’s grandfather to check the suspect’s home. Upon thorough checking, they found the minor locked in a room in Annet’s house prompting her arrest.
Wanyama says that there are rampant cases of human trafficking at the border, but most cases are not being reported.
Christine Agutte, a resident of Seme village says that the suspect has not been allowing people to enter in the house. This made them suspicious until one of them heard the minor crying in the house during day time.
Fredrick Orengo, the director Initiative for Peace and Development Uganda, a child protection non-government organization that operates in the area, says that trafficking in persons has become rampant.
They are now empowering all stake holders in the area by forming a local network for reporting any act of child abuse and fight against child trafficking which is common in this period when children are at home.
Didas Byaruhanga, the Busia district police commander- DPC confirmed the arrest, saying they also have the victim as evidence since the suspect must appear in court.
The case file has been forwarded to the Resident State Antony for perusal and advice on how to handle the matter. The suspect will be charged with child trafficking.