Police in Mpigi District in central Uganda are investigating a case in which unidentified man attacked a prison wardress attached to Mpigi Prisons Service and stole a gun from her.
The prison wardress identified as Hadijah Katono was attacked on Monday afternoon during a downpour while guarding prisoners in Mpigi Town Council, authorities said.
"It's unfortunate that we haven't recovered the gun (AK-47) yet. Our preliminary investigation shows that the prison wardress was on WhatsApp before her gun was stolen," Mr Joab Wabwire, Mpigi District Police Commander said.
Eyewitnesses told this reporter that the assailant came with an arrow, slapped the wardress twice and picked the gun from her before fleeing into a nearby forest.
"We have a problem of inadequate security manpower at Mpigi prison. To make matters worse, our warders and wardresses are always away in the nearby villages making some money (moonlighting). They are usually paid Shs 20,000 when they take some prisoners to dig for some farm owners so we end up with less than the required security here," a security officer who preferred not to be named for fear of being reprimanded because he is not authorised to speak to the press.
Mr Majid Lubowa, a businessman in Mpigi Town Council advised Prison authorities to deploy the army around the prison and its neighborhood to tighten security.
The prison wardress is currently detained at Mpigi Central Police Station pending further investigations.
However, the incident has left residents in fear on suspicion that the stolen gun could later be used to terrorise them.