Police to set up special unit for urban criminality

Dr Joselyne Ekochu lays a wreath on the casket bearing remains of her late husband George Oparo Ekochu, at St Luke Church Ntinda on September 15, 2022. PHOTO | STEPHEN OTAGE

What you need to know:

  • While addressing mourners during the funeral service for his cousin George Oparo Ekochu, who was murdered on Monday evening in Namugongo, a Kampala suburb, Capt Mukula said the attacks on people is such a worrying trend, warning that if nothing is done, people would be forced to take the law into their  hands

Police say they have set up a special unit comprised of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), intelligence agencies and community leaders to carry out special operations on criminal gangs that are terrorising city residents.

Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson, Mr Patrick Onyango, on Thursday told this publication that the unit is charged with the duty of getting rid of all the criminal gangs around the city and on Wednesday alone, 60 suspects who had been operating around Spear Motors were arrested and are currently being screened.

“The public should stop thinking that the Police is not doing is not doing anything, the impact is being felt in suburbs where this criminality has been happening. Of course it is still a work in progress,” he said.

He explained that the new unit is headed by the Police, supported by the UPDF, while the intelligence agencies provide them with information about operations of the criminal gangs and they carry out operations because the gangs work both day and night and very early in the morning when some people are reporting to work.

Mr Onyango’s announcement followed an appeal by Capt Mike Mukula, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) National Vice Chairman for Eastern Uganda, to government, to devise quick measures to contain a new type of urban criminality gaining root in Kampala suburbs.

While addressing mourners during the funeral service for his cousin George Oparo Ekochu, who was murdered on Monday evening in Namugongo, a Kampala suburb, Capt Mukula said the attacks on people is such a worrying trend, warning that if nothing is done, people would be forced to take the law into their  hands which could lead to loss of innocent lives because of undue pressure by the population as is the case in Venezuella and Brazil.

“I have heard many cases of people subjected to these kind of injuries. Some have not recovered, others have had grievous injuries that have been subjected to them, people who have been ambushed on the gates to their homes and this is a worrying trend,” he said.

He said after his cousin’s murder on Monday evening, he offered a Shs2m reward for information leading to the arrest of the murderers and on Wednesday evening, they received information which led them to a dungeon where two youths were found in possession of marijuana, several motor vehicle number plates, wallets and women’s handbags suspected to have been stolen from their victims including his late cousin.

Dr Joselyne Ekochu, the widow, told mourners that her late husband had stepped out of the house at about 7:30pm on the fateful evening, to buy bread and milk, while she entered bed to rest.  When she woke up at 2:00am, her husband was no where, which was unusual, prompting them to mount a search for him within the neighbourhood. 

After a few failed attempts with the help of the Police, as they returned home, they found his hut dropped on the road, dirty. When they searched the nearby banana plantation, they found his lifeless body lying with signs of strangulation and several beatings. 

The 63-year-old son of the former principal private secretary to President Milton Obote, will be laid to rest on Saturday September 17 in Omodoi Village, Soroti District.    




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