Friday February 28 2014

Drug abuse to blame for rise in crime - Mbarara leaders

Police officers parade suspected drug dealers and sacks of marijuana a

Police officers parade suspected drug dealers and sacks of marijuana allegedly confiscated from them in Mbarara District recently. Photo by Rajab Mukombozi 


MBARARA- The authorities in Mbarara have attributed the rise in crime in the district to abuse of drugs, especially marijuana.

Addressing residents on Wednesday, following the killing of a prominent businessman, Charles Kakuru, in Ndeija town by unknown assailants, the Rwampara Member of Parliament, Mr Vicent Kyamadidi, said the number of drug abusers had increased in the area.

He, however, accused the residents and local council leaders of lacking vigilance and failure to report suspected criminals to the authorities.

“The residents and LCs know these criminals who use drugs and terrorise people at night but they have not come up openly to disclose these. They are partly to blame for the crime upsurge in this area,” Mr Kyamadidi said.

He added that unless residents cooperate with police to identify criminals, crime would flourish.

The officer in charge of the criminal investigations department officer, Mr Ian Kakuru, said: “This act of beating someone to death using a hammer cannot be done by any normal person in his senses. We have since established that most people who get involved in crime in the district are high on drugs.”

He said they have intensified operations against the use of narcotic drugs in the district and appealed to residents and local council leaders to help the police identify suspected criminals. The police have appealed to anyone with information on the killing of Mr Kakuru to cooperate with them.

Mr Kakuru,50, who owned a wholesale shop in Ndeija town, was killed on Wednesday morning by unidentified assailants.

This is the second incident in less than two month where a businessman in the same area was killed under similar circumstances.