The Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) has ordered all public places in Bombo town council to close by 11:00pm following the shooting of ten people in a local bar on Saturday.
The army has also banned movements beyond 11pm in what authorities described as a move to step up security in the area as well as hunt for the suspected killer of ten people.
In the early hours of Saturday, Private Patrick Okot attached to Bombo Military Barracks stormed Yumbe Boys’ bar and killed ten people. Preliminary police and army investigations reveal that Okot was targeting Sergeant Onesmus Odule and his wife Florence Akulu, who had reported him to Bombo police station for attempting to defile and assault their 14 year old daughter Grace Chandiru.
Those killed include soldiers identified as Francis Musana, a Warrant Officer attached to the Directorate of Culture, Sergeant Joel Obote, Sergeant Onesmus Odule attached to the Chieftaincy of Personnel and Administration, and Corporal Osere Isaac, who is attached to the Directorate of Culture. Private Namatovu Teddy, another victim was attached to the Directorate of Sports.
The civilian victims included Wilber Odiba, Aseru Amina who was the bar owner, Akullu Florence, the wife of Sergeant Onesmus Odule, Akole Sarah wife of one of the soldiers and David Komakech.
The incident came just over three months after Corporal Herbert Rwakihembo, a soldier who had just returned from duty in Somalia, opened fire in Luzira, Kampala and killed at least three civilians and injured one other person. He was last month court-martialled and sentenced to 90 years in jail for the three counts of murder and five years for attempted murder. Rwakihembo will however serve the sentences concurrently.
Public places that include bars, shops, churches and video halls have been ordered to close before 11 pm or else operators will face arrest for defying the directive.
The Chief of Staff of Land Forces Major General Charles Angina says the army has resolved to restrict movements and operations of public places beyond 11pm to avert a similar incident since the suspect is still at large and in possession of the killer gun.
He added that he has noticed with concern that there was laxity in security of the town and civilians alongside UPDF soldiers were overstaying in bars without any protection from operators.
Major General Angina says that the order takes immediate effect and the army is also tightening rules on its officers who are renting outside the barracks over increased cases of indiscipline in public places.
He added that Private Okot, once arrested, will be charged in the Court Martial that will be presided over in open place within Bombo town council for transparency and to ensure justice is done to the victims.
Over the weekend UPDF soldiers and police officers were seen patrolling Bombo and Wobulenzi town councils.
However, locals have expressed mixed reactions to the restrictions.
Henry Makanga, the councilor for Namaliga parish says that the town council passed a similar by-law in early 2000 to avert violence and crimes but it was weakened by the military officers and men at Bombo. He claimed that some officers owned bars which would remain open beyond the regulated time. He says that the army should make sure that commanders in Bombo Military barracks adhere to the bylaw.
Another resident, Joan Namwanje, also asked the UPDF to restrict its soldiers who walk around with guns yet they are not on duty. Namwanje says that crimes such as the one on Saturday could also occur during day.