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Police has made inroads in investigating Uganda’s burgeoning
sex trade, after arresting a woman suspected of having brokered several girls
into the crime – and a witchdoctor alleged to have ‘cleansed’ the transaction.
The woman, Aida Lubega, and the witchdoctor, Musa Kitumwa, both residents of
Kibuli, were arrested on August 10.
Lubega is believed to be a sister to Yahaya Senabulya, also
suspected of involvement in trafficking girls abroad. Senabulya is suspected to
have led to the death of a Ugandan girl in Malaysia, forcing him to go into
hiding in India.


“We have been looking for this woman for a very long time, but she was elusive.
Her arrest is a big one. She will lead us to many others,” said a police
detective who requested anonymity.

Lubega’s arrest follows that of another woman, Faith Karongo
(alias Nnalongo, Naturinda, Mulinde and Natukunda) in July (see, Top
sex slave dealer nabbed). Karongo is currently on remand in Luzira, pending the
hearing of her case. She was charged with two counts of trafficking in persons
and aggravated trafficking in persons. The capital offence carries a life
sentence. Aida Lubega is to be charged with the same offence.
Whereas Karongo was the one who received new recruits in
China before they would be sent to Senabulya’s base in Malaysia, Lubega’s role
was to identify the gullible girls in Uganda. The girls would be deceived that
they were being taken to do lucrative jobs in China and Malaysia.
Once identified and persuaded, the girls would be taken to
Kibuli where Lubega introduced them to the witchdoctor, Musa Kitumwa, for
cleansing.
Harrowing tale
An e-mail from one of the victims currently wallowing in Malaysia
tells of a harrowing experience.
“In Uganda is one lady called Aida who used to convince
girls how good [Senabulya] is, the good jobs they are going to do…You first
pay her Shs 500,000 before connecting you to Senabulya. After that she takes
you to a witchdoctor where you also pay money,” wrote one of the victims, whose
identity is concealed to protect her privacy.

The victim continues that after the cleansing exercise, supervised by Lubega,
the journey from Uganda starts with India as the first destination where the
girls link up. It’s here, she says, that Faith Karongo reveals to them the
nature of work they are to engage in.

“When you reach there,” the victim narrates, “the lady first
takes the passport from you. This woman is harsh and brutal to the girls. She
tells them that they never came there to sleep; they came to look for money for
the ticket from China. The next destination is Malaysia, the final
destination.”
After a week in India, the girls are flown to China for a
couple of days. Some remain there, but this particular victim was one of those
that went further to Malaysia where they met Senabulya at the airport.
“Yahaya welcomed us at the airport as our boss. After, he
took us somewhere to stay. There, I found 10 girls staying in one house. Other
girls kept on coming. They used to bring new girls,” she revealed.
The victim also outlined the strict regulations Senabulya
issued, including commanding the girls to ‘work’ even during their periods.
During interrogation, whereas Musa Kitumwa admitted to being a witchdoctor, he
denied being part of the human trafficking racket.
Lubega also denied involvement, saying her only relationship
is being a brother to Yahaya. The Observer couldn’t get a comment from them as
they were swiftly whisked away into the cells of the Special Investigations
Unit at Kireka. Meanwhile, the police are also hunting for one Acleo Kalainga,
believed to be a trafficker targeting mainly male youths for export to South
Africa and Lesotho.
Kalainga, managing director of Bwaise-based Linyaa Marketing
Agency, is reported to have jumped bail granted by the Buganda Road
Magistrate’s court on June 14, 2012. Kalainga and Amiti Joyce Mary had been
jointly charged with trafficking in persons. The suspects are accused of using
some Kampala publications such as The Evangelist and The Exposition to lure
male youth through advertisements that promise jobs in South Africa.
The youth are charged between Shs 150,000 and Shs 200,000 to
have their passports and visas processed. According to the police, Kalainga
also charges his victims Shs 2.3 million for transport through Dar es Salaam,
Lusaka and then South Africa where they meet an agent.
What alerted the police to this racket was the case of two
youth who got stranded in the Malawian capital of 
Blantyre and were turned away
by the authorities. They had been promised jobs in South African hotels and
security companies. The police believe these youth were being trafficked
because other known cases have followed a similar route and pattern.
To curb the rampant trafficking, the authorities have
introduced background checks on girls travelling abroad. Before they are let
through the immigration desk, girls suspected of being trafficked are to have
their passports, travel documents and destinations scrutinised by the human
trafficking section in the Special 
Investigations Unit.
Phone calls are then made to the parents of the girls, their
hosts in the countries of destination, as well as other background searches
before they can be cleared.
Source: The Observer

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