Police arrest lynch mob suspects
Posted Wednesday, January 16 2013 at 02:55
Police in Mbarara District have arrested seven people for allegedly lynching three suspected robbers. “We had several unfortunate incidents where some people have hijacked the role of the police and court and killed suspects; we condemn these acts and the perpetrators will have to face murder charges,” Mr Martin Abilu, the Rwizi regional police commander, said on Monday.
Mr Abilu added that while police appreciated vigilance by the public, some people were going too far by killing suspects instead of waiting for justice.
He said the first incident happened on Friday, where the police recovered a body in Kakyeka, Kamukuzi Division in Mbarara Town, while the other occurred on Sunday, where a group of people lynched two suspected robbers in Kyapotani Cell in Kakoba Division.
The police said they used a sniffer dog to trace the suspects. “In Kakyeka, local leaders revealed that the suspects took the victim to them alleging that he had attempted to break into a house. The leaders advised them to take him to the police since he had been badly tortured,” Mr Abilu said.
The man is suspected to have stolen a motorcycle.
The RPC said upon interrogation, the suspects’ testimonies corroborated with that of the local leaders but they denied involvement in the killing of the man. In Kyapotani Cell, the two suspected thugs were burnt to death after they were found fueling a motorcycle.
They had sped off, only to be cornered by the mob. “Some of the assailants managed to escape but we already know some of them. We are hunting for them and they will also be arrested and charged with murder,” Mr Abilu said.
The victims’ bodies were taken to Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital mortuary but police say in both incidents, the identities of those killed have not been identified. Police are appealing to anyone whose male relatives in their mid-30s are missing to get in touch with them.