Tension is high among residents of Kyajiija in Bukulula Sub County in Kalungu District following threats of attack by machete-wielding thugs.
The threats were written on anonymous letters dropped by unknown people in the residents’ homes on Monday evening. In the letter, the thugs threaten to kill residents in retaliation for the murder of one Musa Ggaliwango, a notorious robber.
Ggaliwango was killed in a foiled robbery in the area. Among those listed for elimination are Joseph Keeya, Richard Katongole and Joseph Balyakabona.
“We are targeting to kill at least five children and ten older people,” reads part of the anonymous letter.
Keeya said the warning letters, which were written in Luganda, have triggered panic in the entire community as residents still recount fresh memories of those killed in similar attacks in Masaka region between 2017 and 2018.
Residents said they were spending sleepless nights, while some were contemplating relocating from their homes to seek refuge elsewhere for safety.
"It seems they (assailants) have their own agenda and think they can only succeed by attacking us. There are so many idle youth in our villages. They spend most of their time gambling. Last year, they would drop the letters [with threats] and later implement the threats. We are now scared and some of us no longer sleep in our houses at night for fear of being attacked," one of the residents said.
Mr Joseph Tukamuhebwa, the Officer in Charge of Bukulula Police Station said their teams have recovered the anonymous letters for investigations to try and find the authors and their intention.
He said they plan to intensify surveillance in the area and calls for vigilance from community members to report suspicious people in their neighborhoods.
“We have to be on watch. Monitor your neighbors’ movement. I suspect some of these criminals are residents of this area. But if they are people from other areas, then we need to be more vigilant. We don't want a reoccurance what happened in the past,” Mr Tukamuhebwa said.
In 2018, dozens of murder and robbery cases were registered in greater Masaka sub region.
The attackers would send prior notices warning to attack residents.
A joint security operation later led to the breakup of a notorious gang coordinated by Muhammad Kiddawalime and the late Musa Ggaliwango who was killed by a mob in Bukulula Trading Centre in Kalaungu District during a foiled robbery.