- The whereabouts of Pastor Kalibala Samuel and 20 followers from his church have remained unknown for over a week
- Kalibala is said to have convinced his church members to lock their houses, follow him to an unknown location, and switch off their phones
- Police office in Uganda have since launched a manhunt into the disappearance, hoping to bring the missing people back to their families
It has been over a week since Pastor Kalibala Samuel disappeared with over 20 followers from his church, among them a family of seven members.
In the wake of the disappearance, officers from the Territorial Police in Mityana, Uganda are investigating the circumstances under which the man of God took away his faithfuls.
All members switched their phones off
According to the Uganda Police, the seven family members are Namuwaya Jesca, Ssekyewa Shakim, 19, Nampeewo Shifrah, 17, Muteesasira Muhammad aged 10, Ssenabulya Muhammed, 8, Nakintu Angel aged 4 and Uwuzeeye Mable.
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Details indicate that the pastor and his followers locked their homes, went missing and have since switched off their phones.
"We are meanwhile following leads, after one of the followers, established contact with one of her daughters whom, she left behind," read the police statement.
The undoing is that the individual immediately switched off the phone again before revealing her whereabouts.
We shall trace them, Uganda Police says
The police condemned the pastor's actions, adding that it was unfortunate for him to use methods that are not transparent to control his followers.
"Such conduct has the potential of opening wounds for relatives who lost their loved ones during the Kibwetere cult saga in Kanungu," the statement continued.
Members of the families whose relatives are missing have, however, been assured that the search is ongoing and they should not lose hope.
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The statement promises that officers will not only trace the secret location but also bring all perpetrators to book.
"So far three accomplices of Pastor Kalibala who helped transport the victims have been arrested," reads the update.
Among those in police custody include a 53-year-old teacher, a 62-year-old midwife, and an 18-year-old student.
Didn't want to be vaccinated
Sulait Kintu, one of the affected individuals said that his wife Jessica Namuwaya went missing on May 17 and took their five children with her.
He disclosed that before they disappeared, he noticed that the children had started rejecting school.
“I gave them fees to go to school, but they refused to go. On May 16, I asked my children why they had refused to school and they claimed they didn’t want to be vaccinated,” he told the Daily Monitor.
The mother and her children then left home for prayers at the church and were never seen again, which forced the man to begin his search for them.
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He knew that something was not right when he went to the home of the said pastor and learnt that he too was missing, which forced him to report the matter to the police.
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A resident, identified simply as Odion Rufus, disclosed that the incident was reported to the police while the family members were in search of the pastor.
“During the week, we dispersed into the bush around the pipeline extension area from 8pm till 12am but we could not trace him,'' Rufus said.