10 people killed monthly, survey reveals
Posted Thursday, October 3 2013 at 01:00
Daily Monitor survey indicates that at least 10 people are shot dead in Kampala Metropolitan Area every month, raising concern about the increase in gun-related crime and control of firearms.
Friday, September 13, began as a normal day for Innocent Birimumaiso. After going about some errands in town, he reported for duty at Kolugi Supermarket in Nateete, a Kampala suburb, where he worked as a night supervisor.
However, a bright evening turned tragic when an armed man walked into the supermarket, shot Birimumaiso dead and placed his three workmates at gunpoint before making off with an unspecified amount of money.
Three suspects were later arrested over killing the 32-year-old, whose death added to a growing number of people being killed by criminals in Kampala Metropolitan area. A survey by the Daily Monitor shows that nearly 30 people have been shot dead in the past three months in Wakiso, Kampala and Mukono districts, which form the Kampala Metropolitan area. This means about 10 people are shot to death by thugs monthly.
The number could be even higher considering that the survey was done mainly by compiling killings which were captured in the media. The police could not provide up-to-date figures of the killings, saying it would take time compiling them from across their stations. The survey also shows that the key targets of attack are business people whose cash or other valuables are robbed. Mr Rogers Kawuki, a supervisor at Kings Betting Investment Company in Bukoto, was waylaid by thugs in August and shot dead. His attackers made off with an unknown amount of money.
Let off the hook
According to the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Mr Ibin Ssenkumbi, convicting masterminds of these killings has proved difficult because “little evidence” is left at the crime scenes. “We have been taking suspects to court, but there is little evidence to have them convicted and thus most of them are released on bail while others are let to go,” Mr Ssenkumbi says.
The Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, attributes the worrying trend to proliferation of illegal guns into the city, but also lax control on registered firearms. “The crimes are being committed using lawful guns, but worsened by the illegal guns in the country,” Gen Kayihura told the Daily Monitor when contacted on Tuesday.
At a press briefing last month, former Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander Andrew Felix Kaweesi said they had arrested at least 40 suspected armed robbers since June. “Police is trying to secure the city from armed robbers and other violent criminals who take advantage of the laxity in security to attack their victims,” Mr Kaweesi added.
The force began registering all guns owned by individuals and private security agencies last year, but the effort has bore no fruit since bullet shells, which are usually the only evidence left at crime scenes, are not marked.
Gen Kayihura admits that gun ownership and records need to be managed better if the killings are to be stemmed. “We need to strengthen the control of the records, armories among other departments in our agencies to help control the movement of legally registered guns,” he said.
List of individuals KILLED by use of guns since April
April14, Meddie Tamale, the owner of City Junior School in Kalerwe, also an employee of MTN, was shot dead in Mukono by unknown armed thugs – nothing was stolen from him.
April 16, a security guard shot dead Ahmed Tamale, a mobile money dealer. Upon arrest, the guard confessed to having killed the businessman to get access to the money.
May 11, A mobile money dealer was shot dead by unknown armed robbers at Nansana Zone 8 when he had just arrived at his home. The robbers stole an unknown amount of money from him. Several suspects were arrested.
June 28, Michael Sekajja, a resident of Maganjo, was shot dead at his home by unknown assailants.
July 18, Godfrey Sekajugo, a State house operative, was shot dead during crossfire with armed robbers who had attacked Ddamulira Bar in Mutundwe.
July 27, James Tamale, 22, a resident of Kitintale Zone I, was shot dead in the wee hours of the morning after attackers ambushed him at Mutungo. His motorcycle and money were taken.
July 30, Mathias Nteziryayo, the officer in-charge of criminal investigations at Bulenga Police Station, who was leading a team in an operation to arrest armed robbers, was mistakenly shot dead by a fellow police officer. Two police officers were arrested and arraigned in court. The gun that was used was recovered.