Wednesday March 7 2018

Masaka attacks: Police, army launch offensive

Brig Ssemwanga, Mr Kasingye and Mr Mugy

Brig Ssemwanga, Mr Kasingye and Mr Mugyenyi during a planning meeting in Masaka Town on Sunday. PHOTO BY MARTINS E. SSEKWEYAMA 


MASAKA- Two senior police officers have camped in Greater Masaka Sub-region to coordinate joint security operations against criminals that have terrorised area residents.

A joint security taskforce comprising the police, the army, the Reserve Force and prison services has been formed to start operations in the nine districts that make up the sub-region
Masaka, Kalungu, Lwengo, Kalangala, Rakai, Sembabule, Bukomansimbi and Lyantonde districts have in the last two years registered a rise in crime such as murder and armed robberies. The latest incidents were reported in the last two weeks when armed robbers hacked to death businessmen in Sembabule and Rakai, before disappearing with huge sums of money.

Mr Asuman Mugyenyi, the head of the Police Operations Directorate and Mr Asan Kasingye, the police chief political commissar, are coordinating the operation. According to Mr Mugyenyi, the new operation codenamed ‘Dumisha Usalama’, loosely meaning ‘Keeping Safety’ will see all security agencies work jointly in several operations.

Mr Kasingye said they will also popularise the community policing concept.
“This operation was first launched in Kampala Metropolitan region around July last year, and we registered some successes in fighting urban notorious criminal gangs. We are hopeful that it will clean the area,” he said in an interview on Monday.

Brig Joseph Ssemwanga, the commander of the UPDF Armoured Brigade based in Masaka, called for calm among residents, saying the security presence will not interfere with their normal business.
He, however, urged them to be vigilant and always report all suspicious characters to the authorities.

The coordinators are engaging police commanders in the area to discuss modalities of the operation.