Roadblock-staging gangs make comeback in Wakiso

A scene of crime officer seen combing for more evidence at a cordoned off Nakulabye police station in Kampala where officers say they successfully repelled an attack from two unknown assailants riding on a Boda Boda motorcycle at around 4am. PHOTO | ABUBAKER LUBOWA

What you need to know:

  • Thugs erecting roadblocks used to operate around Lubowa on the road leading to Ndejje-Lubugumu Township and Kira-Kasangati Road.

Gangs that stage roadblocks on feeder roads connecting to residential areas in the outskirts of Kampala Metropolitan Area targeting individuals driving at night have made a comeback.

Thugs erecting roadblocks used to operate around Lubowa on the road leading to Ndejje-Lubugumu Township and Kira-Kasangati Road.

Incidents have now spread to other areas within Wakiso District.

Last week, such incidents were reported on Nakawuka-Kasanje Road, Kayunga-Ssenge-Kawa Road and Wakiso-Matugga-Kasangati Road.

The gang members, dressed in military fatigue, erect barricades in the middle of the road and pretend to be on routine security checks. When unsuspecting motorists set their foot off the gas pedal, the thugs strike with all their might.

Former legislator and retired police officer Simeo Nsubuga said several motorists were attacked on Kayunga-Senge-Kawanda Road.

“They robbed motorists and boda boda cyclists. Almost similar incidents have been happening across [Wakiso] District, especially along Wakiso-Matugga-Kasangati Road, Wakiso-Buloba Road and around Nansana Municipality,” Mr Nsubuga told Saturday Monitor recently.

The suspects often target motorists who are returning home at night.

Kampala Metropolitan Police deputy spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire said they haven’t registered such incidents in Wakiso Township and Nansana Municipality.

“No one has made a report. We can only investigate if a person has opened a case. If there are victims, they shouldn’t complain silently. Let them come and report so that we can commence the investigations,” he said.

A police source privy to the investigations into such robberies, however, confirmed that the cases are on the increase.

He said many division police commanders are not forwarding them to the region for fear of being reprimanded.

It is believed that the officers fear to be faulted for not intensifying patrols in their areas of jurisdiction.

Since incidents were reported on Kira-Kasangati Road last year, the thugs went on to target victims in isolated areas during curfew.

The incidents of erecting illegal roadblocks, however, stopped after the police intensified both motorised and foot patrols on the road.

Another gang emerged on Mityana-Wakiso-Kampala Road, but it targeted only trucks carrying cereals to Kampala City between July 2021 and March this year.

The members of the group were also arrested after a tip-off last month.

They were found to be using toy guns in their robberies. The suspects are yet to be produced in courts of law.

On the night of April 11, a gang erected an illegal roadblock on Kasanje Road and stopped several motorists from whom they robbed cash, mobile phones and even vehicles.

One of the victims told Saturday Monitor that the criminals beat them up before robbing them of their mobile phones, money and Toyota Land Cruiser registration number UAG 622W. The car was later found abandoned on Mityana Road after an intense hunt by the police patrol officers. The suspects remain at large.

According to crime statistics, the months between April and July usually witness a spike in criminal cases across the country.

Incident

On the night of April 11, a gang erected an illegal road block on Kasanje Road and stopped several motorists from whom they robbed cash, mobile phones and even vehicles.

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