Armed criminals raid Kampala city suburbs

Machete-welding thugs caught on CCTV camera at a residential premises in Nasana Municipality, Wakiso District recently. PHOTO/COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • Mr Geoffrey Ssekidde, a resident of Salaama Road, said people staying in the valleys are the most affected.

Residents of Katwe and nearby areas in the Kampala City outskirts are living in fear after a spike in burglary cases in homes and business premises.
The crimes are mainly committed in Salaama and Masajja areas. The residents say the criminals also waylay and rob people at night. 
The criminal activities have also spread to other areas, including Mutundwe, Kasajja, and Bunamwaya with reports of armed thugs erecting illegal roadblocks where they rob motorists and pedestrians. 

This has prompted police to carry out operations in the affected areas and have arrested more than 58 people.  
The Kampala Metropolitan Police deputy spokesman, Mr Luke Owoyesigyire, said their operation was a response to public outcry about violent crimes. 
“The criminals were based in Kisangani Zone. They have been carrying out aggravated robberies in and around Kampala targeting residential areas and passers-by. Police officers in Katwe carried out an operation in the affected areas and more than 58 suspects were arrested,” Mr Owoyesigyire said yesterday.

Urban crime had reduced due to restriction of movement imposed by government to control the spread of the coronavirus disease. 
He said they recovered machetes, house breaking implements, and gloves, which the suspects allegedly used in the crimes. 
“It has become difficult to track down the suspects because they use gloves during the robberies so we couldn’t lift their fingerprints at the scenes of crime,” he said.

Incidents of use of firearms in robberies in Makindye Division and Makindye-Ssabagabo had reduced in 2019 after a the string of operations and arrest of key suspects.
Ms Rehema Navuga, a resident of Kisangani Zone, on Thursday said the criminals are not residents of the area. 
“They come from other areas and converge here because this is an isolated area. We also have many conmen, who call people on mobile phones to dupe them that they have won prizes before asking their victims to send money to them. This is their operation area. They include some of the people who were arrested by the police,” Ms Navuga said.
Mr Geoffrey Ssekidde, a resident of Salaama Road, said people staying in the valleys are the most affected. 
“Most people in the valleys are new residents and are isolated and that makes it difficult to respond to their calls at night,” he said.