A man at the centre of a case that sparked three days of protest in Bukomansimbi is out of police custody.
Augustine Kalibala Ssebuliba, the former Butenga LC1 Chairman, was arrested after the remains of a child were found in his plantation.
The discovery was made on Monday in Ssebuliba’s banana plantation in Butenge village, Butenga sub county, Bukomansimbi district.
A casual worker found the remains buried close to a banana sucker. He alerted residents and police that later ascertained they belonged to a child.
The discovery triggered protests in Butenga that lasted three days.
After demanding for Kalibala’s arrest, angry residents on Wednesday attacked the brother and sister’s homes and razed them to the ground.
The mob also cut down Kalibala and Nassiwa’s plantations.
The mob then marched to Butenga trading centre, blocked the Masaka-Sembabule road and attacked a police post. They wanted to break into the police cells, drag out Kalibala and lynch him.
Police was forced to fire live bullets and teargas to disperse the mob.
In the chaos, Dickson Mutebi, a reporter with Bukedde TV based in Bukomansimbi, was stoned by a group of protesters.
As result, Police arrested Kalibala for safe custody. However, Gertrude Temaya, the Bukomansimbi district police commander says police set him free and don’t know his whereabouts.
She says they did not have any evidence that the child was killed in ritual sacrifice. Kalibala’s sister Nassiwa was already on the run after being found with a neighbour’s baby who had gone missing.
Temaya however says they are investigating reports that a woman of Rwandan origin could have buried the child in Kalibala’s plantation.
She had reportedly failed to transport the body back to her home. Temaya, however, said she did not have more particulars about the woman at the time of interview.
Temaye says it is unfortunate Bukomansimbi residents believe in the power of witchcraft which causes them to react this way. She says police records cases of people accused of witchcraft every month.
Naomi Namutebi, a resident, is angry that police released Kalibala instead of taking him to court. Namutebi says police should have questioned Kalibala on the origins of the remains of the baby.
MP Susan Namaganda, the Bukomansimbi district Woman MP and Muhammad Kateregga, the LC5 Chairman, attribute the increasing cases of mob justice to break down in police investigations and judicial systems.
MP Namaganda claims that majority of residents have lost trust in police and courts.
Muhammad Kateregga, the Bukomansimbi LC5 Chairman has asked police to intensify community policing campaign.
Noah Sserunjogi, the Greater Masaka Region Police Spokesperson says a team of regional police officers led by Maxwell Ogwal, the regional police commander conduct community policing.
Since the year begun, police say at least six homes have been destroyed in mob justice action.