The biological father of Masindi municipality-based human rights defender, Mr Edward Mbihebwa has gone missing for a complete week now.
The 74-year-old Mr Eryeza Mbeihwa Kabaijabaija of Rwenkoole Sawaigoro cell in Bulima town council, Masindi district, is reported to have gone missing on November 25, 2023, after leaving home for the trading centre.
His daughter-in-law, Ms Harriet Mbabazi, has told Kazi-njema News that Mr Kabaijabaija was last sighted in Bulima town council on Friday, November 25, 2023.
She says a case of a missing person was reported at Bulima Police Post and all local avenues and methods of searching for him have been exploited but his whereabouts remain unknown.
Mr Kabaijabaija, a sugarcane out grower for Kinyara Sugar Ltd, reportedly had signs of mental disorder since the start of the year which seem to have escalated following his son, Mr Mbihebwa’s detention who has been in Masindi prison since the end of July this year.
“A week before my father-in-law went missing, he was heard several times planning to launch a search for his son and at one point he was found lost in the nearby forest. He used to go to Bulima town council to collect his rent from the tenants and he was well fathomable,” said Ms Mbabazi.
Mr Nec Bosco, a human rights defender and close friend to detained Mr Mbihebwa, said the search for the missing person continues with the latest being yesterday (Sunday) that went up to 8pm in Kasokwa central forest reserve around Kinyara sugar plantation areas where he had reportedly been sighted going.
The searchers had even spent the day looking for him in Kibwona market.
The Albertine Regional Police Public Relations Officer, SP Julius Allan Hakiza, said the report of the missing person was unconfirmed by police as of Friday last week.
Mr Kabaijabaija’s disappearance comes four months after the detention of his son, Mr Mbihebwa on allegations of defilement that some human rights defenders have described as fabricated based on his nature of work.
Mr Mbihebwa is the Executive Director of Community Driven Network (CODNET) which is known for community awareness campaigns on governance and accountability in Bunyoro and West Nile regions.