Security forces in Uganda are holding a 34-year-old female pastor, her 42-year-old husband and their neighbor over alleged human trafficking and unlawful confinement.
Pastor Jackline Kisoma, her partner Daniel Kisoma and 48-year-old Edward Giita are accused of recruiting and harboring 18 victims in their rented house, at Nakuwadde Village in Bulenga, Wakiso District.
According to police, “the home also served as a worship center for the trio’s unregistered religious cult.”
“We have further established that the self-styled pastor manipulated her followers into leaving school, claiming education was useless,” police
Consequently, four students from St Francis Nursing School in Namataba-Mukono District, were forced to leave school.
“The suspects had also withdrawn their eight children from school. The victims were confined in the home and completely separated from the community as they were prohibited from moving out or even going to hospital in case they fell sick.”
“They instead spent the whole day and night, praising, worshiping and having Bible lessons,” Enanga explained.
Investigations against the accused started when the mother of 21-year-old Martha Adulu went to pay her a visit at St Francis Nursing School and found that she had left two months back.
“Ms Adulu was tracked down to Nakuwadde Village where her three other nursing school colleagues Amina Nakiganda Kwagala,23, Angel Nampera, 19, and Favor Nagita,18, were recovered in an operation involving the police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Anti-Human Trafficking Department,” Enanga disclosed.
In addition, tailor Justine Giita Nakintu who is a wife to Edward Giita and their three children were rescued. Also recovered are five children of Pastor Kisoma, all aged below 12.
On Monday, police revealed that two female adults from Midwestern Uganda districts of Kibale and Kakumiro were also rescued from the church in Bulenga. The two are 27-year-old Josephine Akugizibwe and 40-year-old Joan Kuteesa.
“This is the plight that many victims in religious cults face. They see the leaders as a God-like figure whom they fear to go against.
By press time on Tuesday, majority of the victims were undergoing counselling and rehabilitation while the “file of the accused had been submitted to the Directorate of Public Prosecution for legal guidance on the charges of human trafficking and unlawful confinement.”
“The female victims are undergoing medical examinations to prove or disprove any acts of sexual violence,” police noted.