Susan’s murder has left us in fear – John Magara
By Jimmy Ssemakadde
“I failed to watch the video, I gave it to the police and asked them to watch it…” – John Magara
Tears rolled down the cheeks of many mourners that filled up Our Lady of Africa Catholic church Mbuya in Kampala as family members eulogised Susan Magara, the murdered 28-year-old cashier of Bwendero diary farm.
Mourners were moved by Susan’s father, John Magara who told the church congregation that following the murder of his daughter, the family is engulfed in fear, wondering whether his daughters assailants will come for another family member.
Susan was discovered dead 21 days after she went missing on February 7.
Her body was dumped at Kitiko in Wakiso district off the Kampala -Entebbe Expressway.
John Magara told mourners after Susan’s disappearance, her step mother Immaculate received a call from unknown people confirming they had Susan under their custody and were demanding ransom of $1M (Shs 3.6bn).
For about three weeks, friends and family took to the social media with a desperate hope that her kidnappers would feel the pressure and release her.
John said that he tried all he could to negotiate with the kidnappers to have his daughter freed but all in vain.
“Initially, I thought that these were ordinary cheap criminals whose motive was money, and gave them what they asked for, kept it to ourselves with my wife thinking we would surprise the rest and waited but in vain “ said John.
Ten days later kidnappers sent John a parcel with two of Susan’s fingers plus a video labeled “must watch.”
He however feared watching the video and handed it over to police.
“I failed to watch the video, I gave it to the police and asked them to watch it and tell me what is in it,” John told the sobbing mourners.
The police later confirmed to him that she was still alive and pleading after the fingers had been chopped off.
Magara later reached out to President Museveni and the two held a two-hour discussion without involvement of security personnel as asked by the kidnappers.
“I asked the president to allow us carry on with the negotiations” said Magara
On Saturday, the ransom money was delivered to the kidnappers thinking Susan would be freed immediately.
Shockingly, two days later, she was found dead. John got the news of his daughter’s murder from President Museveni.
“Yesterday (Tuesday) morning at 9am, I received a call from the president and he said, “Magara, mutabani, omwana bumwisire,” (Magara my son, the girl has been killed). I have gotten a report from my men on the ground that they had discovered a body without two fingers said president and he asked me to go and confirm,” John said.
“At a stretch between Munyonyo and Kajjansi, police accompanied us to the said site and the body was very fresh and it seemed she had been killed that very night,” John told the mourners.
Susan will be buried on Thursday in Kitoba village, Hoima district