Tension as armed robbers terrorise Kampala suburbs

CCTV camera captures armed robbers raiding Spice supermarket in Mukono District on June 24. Photo/Video grab

What you need to know:

  • The latest incident occurred on Friday when thugs raided a supermarket in Mukono.

Residents and businessmen in several suburbs in Kampala Metropolitan Area have been left traumatised after a series of violent raids by armed robbers last week.

The latest incident was at a supermarket at Mulago Cell, Ntawo Ward in Mukono Municipality on Friday where thugs armed with an AK47 rifle raided Spice Supermarket and shot a cashier before robbing unspecified amount of money. 

Kampala Metropolitan Police deputy spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire said investigations have commenced and the culprits will be arrested.

“The incident happened after three robbers armed with an AK47 attacked the cashier and people who were shopping at about 11:34pm. The cashier was injured after she was shot at,” Mr Owoyesigyire said. Incidents of aggravated robberies where thugs carry machetes and guns have surged in Kampala Metropolitan.

Mr Owoyesigyire said Mukono District is one of the most affected areas.

“Following several complaints of robberies, burglaries, and thefts targeting electronic devices in Mukono Municipality and places on Kayunga road, the territorial police at Mukono have embarked on operations to hunt down the perpetrators,” he said.

Mr Owoyesigyire added that four people suspected to be behind the attacks were arrested last week and an assortment of items recovered.

“The same group is believed to be connected to other suspects who have been terrorising residents in Nagalama and Mukono. They are currently detained at Flying Squad headquarters in Kampala as investigations continue,” he said.

In Kyengera, Wakiso District, around nine armed thugs donning military fatigue last Monday night erected road blocks in a swamp between Kyengera and Nabbingo where they robbed many unsuspecting motorists. The thugs robbed Mr Ashraf Sserunjogi of Shs10m, his passport, phones and other items before letting him go. They also robbed from boda boda motorcyclists.
Mr Akim Wasajja lost Shs40,000 and a phone to the thugs while Charles Kato lost Shs35,000. 

The police haven’t yet arrested the suspects.

Incidents of criminals donned in military fatigues erecting fake roadblocks in the city suburbs have become common.

In April, thugs dressed in military fatigues robbed many people after erecting road blocks around Lubowa on the road leading to Ndejje-Lubugumu Township and Kira-Kasangati road, Nakawuka-Kasanje road, Kayunga-Ssenge-Kawa road and Wakiso-Matugga road.

Security agencies are still investigating where the criminals get their uniforms.

Recent case
In March, the UPDF First Division spokesperson, Maj Charles Kabona, paraded four suspects that were posing as their soldiers and carrying out attacks at night in Rubaga Division.

Maj Kabona said the suspects had been conducting illegal patrols as well as executing house robberies.

He said they recovered a handcuff,  two police teargas canisters, six pairs of army uniform, one army jacket, one military ceremonial uniform, five pairs of military boots and one military bag.

“We have started serious investigations into this matter and we are going to find out the source of these military equipment,” he said.

Growing trend

A total of 1,956 cases of aggravated robbery - where lethal weapons such as firearms, knives, hammers, machetes, were used - were reported in 2021 compared to 1,844 cases reported in 2020. At least 254 cases involved firearms.

The Police Annual Crime report shows  that 436 cases of robbery of cash were registered in 2021 compared to 364 in 2020.