Bearing the scars of Kayunga machete gangs

Some of the victims of recent  machete attacks who reported at Kayunga Central Police Station yesterday. Inset is a woman who says a machete-wielding gang cut parts of her breast during an attack in Kitimbwa Sub-county in Kayunga. PHOTOS/FRED MUZAALE

What you need to know:

  • Ms Rosette Sikahwa, the Kayunga District Police Commander, said a night swoop by the police in the two sub-counties netted some 23 suspected members of the gang, who call themselves B-13.

One person has been killed and 11 others are nursing injuries after being attacked by some machete-wielding gangs in two sub-counties in Kayunga District.
Ms Rosette Sikahwa, the Kayunga District Police Commander, told the media on February 9 that the victims are from Kitimbwa and Busaana sub-counties.
She said a night swoop by the police in the two sub-counties netted some 23 suspected members of the gang, who call themselves B-13.
“The notorious gang had created a lot of fear among the public and their activities had forced residents in Busaana and Kitimbwa sub-counties to lock themselves in as early as 7pm,” the DPC said. 

“Night movement in the gang-controlled area was no longer possible as the gangsters erected illegal roadblocks,” she added.

Ms Sikahwa said intelligence reports by security agencies showed the gang had an organised rank and file structure, ranging from commanders, down to colonel, major and sergeants. She said most of the suspects in custody are youths below 30 years while some are teenagers between 15 and 17 years.
“During the operation, we found underground covers in some of the hideaways of the gangsters. We also recovered a number of blood-stained machetes, which the goons used to hack innocent residents,” the DPC said.
Ms Sikahwa said the gang members would be charged with theft, assault and causing grievous harm.
Mr Moses Etyang, the Nakivubo parish councillor at Kitimbwa sub-county, said the gangsters are known youths from the area, which started their anti-social activities in 2022.
“We hope the arrest of some of the gang members will bring some relief to the residents,” he said.

Some of the victims
Residents in the two sub-counties who were attacked by the gang include Mr Sam Pita, Mr Juma Kabanda, Mr Patrick Komuli,  Mr Joseph Lagu who is a farmer and Ms Joan Tibenda.

Others are  Mr Amisi Kiyingi and Mr Ali Mujasi, a casual labourer  and resident of Kyerima Trading Centre, who is  among the youngest victims of the attack.

Paul Baluku  (Deceased)
The 25-year-old man was attacked at his home in Kabalira Village in Kitimbwa Sub-county in October 2023. 

A relative, Mr Joseph Ogole, says Baluku, a peasant farmer, was attacked at night by a group of machete-wielding thugs, who hacked him on the head several times. 

The assailants took off leaving him for dead. 

Because he lived alone, it was his neighbours who responded to his cries but found him unconscious and in a pool of blood. 

He was rushed to Kayunga Regional Referral Hospital but was pronounced dead moments after he was admitted.

He left behind a four-year-old daughter. 

Mr Patrick Komuli
The gang attacked the 26-year-old resident of Bisaka Village in Kitimbwa Sub-county on January 22 at around 2am as he joined family members for a party at the home of Joseph Laboke. 

The third-year Makerere University student of Computer Science says the party began in the afternoon of January 21 and was attended by many relatives and friends. 
By 7pm, as the party wound down, some of the guests quickly left, but other close relatives continued to party on. Soon, they were thrown into panic when a gang of machete-wielding men stormed the party. 
The partygoers fled into disarray as some scampered into the main house. Mr Komuli, who tried to confront the gang, was hacked three times on the head. 

He only regained consciousness on a hospital bed at Kayunga Regional Referral Hospital 
His head injuries were stitched and he was discharged after four days in hospital.
But Mr Komuli says he still feels pain from his injuries and feels dizzy and this has delayed his return to the university. 

He says his parents have so far spent about Shs500,000 for his treatment.

 Mr Ali Mujasi

Mr Ali Mujasi
The 18-year-old from Kyerima Trading Centre in Kitimbwa Sub-county, works as a casual labourer. 

He was attacked on February 2 while crossing the trading centre at about round 11pm. 
He says two men with baseball caps pounced on him and hacked him on the head and cut his hand as he fended them off. 

He escaped and hid in a toilet but was later rescued, and rushed to Kayunga National Referral Hospital where he was stitched and discharged after two days.

Mr Joseph Lagu 
The 56-year-old was attacked at his home in Bisaka Village in Kitimbwa Sub-county at about 10pm on January 18. 

The peasant farmer says the attackers pounced on him on his compound as he listened to the radio and cut him on the stomach with a machete. 

The father of 12 children says the goons fled without stealing anything from him. He was rushed to Kayunga Regional Referral hospital by his children and was admitted for a week before being discharged. 

He says he is yet to heal.

Mr Wycliffe Nadduli  
The 25-year-old resident of Kyerima Trading Centre in Kitimbwa Sub-county was attacked on February 2, the same day Mr Ali Mujasi was attacked.
He had spent the evening with friends in Kyerima Trading centre, Kitimbwa Sub-county. 

The machete-wielding gangsters found him walking back home at around 8.45pm and cut him on the knee. 

He collapsed in pain as his attackers fled in the dark. They did not steal any money from him. 

Mr Nadduli is currently receiving treatment from Kayunga Regional Referral Hospital and now walks with support of a wooden clutch. 

The father of two children and a wife remains in pain and unable to do any work with ease.

Mr Juma Kabanda
The 20-year- old father of one is a trader. 

He was attacked at Kyengera trading centre in Busaana sub-county on January 28 at about 9pm while waiting to hitch a boda boda ride home. Kabanda had spent the evening watching football from a video Hall. 

But on his way home at Nanyuki Village in Busaana Sub-county, the thugs hit, hacked him on the head and left him unconscious. The attackers did not steal anything from him. 

Some good Samaritans rushed him to Kayunga Regional Referral Hospital where he was admitted for four days. 

Mr Kabanda regained consciousness from hospital but remains on treatment.

Mr Amisi Kiyingi
The 44-year-old Amisi Kiyingi of Kiyagi village in Kayunga sub-county is a father of five children. 

He said he was waylaid and hacked on the head on January 28 at 5am. Kiyingi was attacked at Nnongo village in Kitimbwa Sub-county while returning from a funeral in Namirembe Village in Busaana Sub-county, where he had spent the night selling soda, cigarettes, and other items. 
“I was on my bicycle when the gangsters descended on me; beating and hacking me. I threw at them all the money I had and fled into the bush. I bled profusely, but managed to walk to a nearby home and was rushed to Busaale Health Centre III,” Mr Kiyingi said. 
He was discharged after three days and has spent Shs350,000 on treatment.

Mr Sam Pita
Mr Pita ,42, is a father of six and a resident of Ggwero Village in Galilaaya Sub-county in Kayunga District. 

A peasant farmer, Mr Pita was attacked while attending a family function in Bisaka Village in Kitibwa Sub-county at the home of Joseph Laboke. 

He sustained injuries in the back. 

He was admitted to Wabwoko Health Centre III, where he received treatment and was discharged.

Mr Charles Ngogo
The 40-year-old cattle trader was attacked in December last year, while returning home at Namirembe Village in Busaana Sub-county at around 7pm. Mr Ngogo says the nine attackers waylaid him as he crossed Kabalira swamp and hacked him on the head. 
He says the attackers only fled when he raised an alarm and left him bleeding profusely. Passersby then rushed Mr Ngogo to a nearby clinic, where he was given first aid but was transferred to Kayunga Regional Referral Hospital until he was discharged. 
Mr Ngogo, a father of eight children and two wives, lost Shs250,000 to the attackers and has never returned to work.

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Ms Joan Tibenda
The 16-year-old teenager was attacked on 17 January at around 8.30pm while at a shop in Bisaka village in Kitimbwa Sub-county, Kayunga District, where she had gone to buy some household items.
Ms Tibenda, who lives with her parents in the same village, says moments after she arrived at the shop, some 15 machete-wielding youthful men emerged from a nearby coffee plantation and stormed the shop. One of the gangsters shouted, “You are under arrest!”

Survivor's breast

He then cut  Ms Tibenda’s left breast and left hand as she pleaded with mean-looking men to spare her life. She bled profusely, collapsed and lost consciousness and they left her for dead. 
“Although I made an alarm, no neighbours came to my rescue as they all fled into hiding,” Ms Tibenda says. 

She was whisked off to Kayunga Regional Referral Hospital and had stitches on her left breast and hand. 

She was discharged after one week in hospital, but says she still feels a lot of pain.
She says she managed to identify some of her attackers who are now detained Kayunga Central Police Station.