Fort Portal, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Six people have earned themselves a one year sentence in Katojo government prison for trafficking students with an intention of extorting money from them. The six appeared Wednesday before the Fort Portal Chief Magistrate, Phionah Sheilla Angula, who sentenced them on their own guilty plea.
They are Lyndon Mugumisirize, Kenneth Aligonza, Godfrey Namisi, Esther Namakoye, Rebecca Nafuna, and Enida Nandudu, all employees of Empowered Consumerism in Africa Company. According to the court records, the four were picked up on January 4 for conning five students including Phionah Muyama, Edwin Isaiah Napokoli, Doreen Mutuwa, Sophia Nandudu, and Sam Dimadu from Mbale and Bulambuli districts of their money with promises of getting them jobs in Fort Portal under Empowered Consumerism in Africa Company.
They asked each of their victims to pay between 1.4 to 1.6 Million Shillings to help them secure jobs. Edwin Isaiah Napokoli, one of the victims told URN that his former teacher connected him to Esther Namukoye to get him a job. According to Napokoli, Namukoye promised to find him a job in Fort Portal where he would earn between Shillings 100,000 and 130,000 weekly. He explained that after going through the interviews, the convicts asked him to pay Shillings 1.4 Million to buy a laptop, company uniform, shoes, and a company ID.
According to Napokoli, his father was forced to sell part of his coffee plantation to raise money. However, two weeks after paying the money, the company officials disappeared after closing their offices. This made Napokoli and his colleagues suspicious prompting them to report the matter to Fort Portal City East Division Police station, which led to their arrest and subsequent prosecution.
The victims are dissatisfied with the court ruling, saying that they wanted the traffickers to refund the money they paid to the company and compensate them for the time they have spent in Fort Portal doing nothing. Nandudu with tears running down her cheeks wondered how she was going to face her father after what had happened. She said that she was afraid that her father was going to punish her after wasting his money on her.