Following a spate of armed robberies in the Kampala Metropolitan area, security agencies have vowed to take a tougher stance against the perpetrators.
During a security meeting held in Mukono District on Wednesday following last week’s armed robbery at Spice Supermarket, security operatives resolved that suspected armed robbers would be shot on sight in a bid to contain the increasing crime rate Kampala and surrounding areas.
Police Operations director, AIGP Edward Ochom, while at the meeting, ordered police officers to shoot suspected robbers, noting that they are now “fed up of them”.
"We have been patient with these criminals including those who take part in aggravated robbery," AIGP Ochom said during a security meeting at district headquarters.
“We are not going to sympathise with them anymore, enough is enough. I know amongst us here, these robbers have their agents. We are discussing security; they want to hear what we are discussing, now go and tell them that their days are numbered,” he said.
AIGP Ochom noted that they have on several occasions arrested robbers who are taken to court and convicted but still fail to reform after being released.
Mr Stephen Tanui, the Kampala Metropolitan Police commander, said, “We are aware that the economy is tough, it could be part of the reasons that some people have resorted to that [robbery] but it is very unfortunate if you are found on the wrong side breaking the law. If we find you with a gun, just say your last prayers.”
UPDF’s Col Fred Mwesigye, said they would not tolerate robbers who have since caused tension among residents.
“We are going to kill them. We shall shoot and then investigate where the gun came from because they have numbers,” he said.
The Mukono Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Ms Fatuma Ndisaba, in her submission told security operatives to also be keen on private security guards, noting that some of them are agents in the robberies and other crimes.
The meeting was convened after two armed robbers attacked Spice Supermarket in Mukono where they shot a cashier, Ms Irene Nakandi before making off with an unspecified sum of money.
Police on Tuesday recovered one of the guns used in the robbery following the arrest of one of the suspects from his home in Kitete Village, Ggulu Ward Parish, Mukono Sub County.
Police investigations indicated that the suspect allegedly hid the gun in the boot of his car.
Machetes alleged to have been used in committing various crimes were also recovered from his home after a police search.
Cases of aggravated robbery on the rise
Cases of aggravated robbery are on the increase, according to a police report. A total of 1,956 cases of aggravated robbery - where lethal weapons such as firearms, knives, hammers, and machetes, among others, were used - were reported in 2021 compared to 1,844 cases reported in 2020, showing a 6 per cent increase.
At least 254 cases involved firearms. Police also indicated in their annual crime report that a total of 436 cases of robbery of cash were registered in 2021 compared to 364 cases reported in 2020, marking a 19.7 per cent increase.