December 11, 2014

Police Using Festive Season Operations To Extort Money – Residents

Several residents and community leaders have started to question police methods in curbing crime in Greater Luweero districts ahead of the Christmas Season.

At least 25 suspects have been arrested. Many face charges of robbery or being vagabonds.

Some of the suspects include Emmanuel Twahirwa, Muligande Fred, Ivan Mugabo, Robert Karangwa, Denis Mande, Fred Ssebutekera and Fred Migade all residents of Ngoma town council in Nakaseke.

They stand accused of stealing motorcycles from Nakaseke and exchanging them with fellow robbers in Masindi and Nakasongola.

Other suspects were rounded for walking at night with no clear identification papers on them in Ngoma town council.

The Spokesperson for Savannah Regional Police Lameck Kigozi explains that police have launched operations in the area to curb skyrocketing crimes and murders ahead of the festive season.

Kigozi explains that the operation was partly caused by reports that some people who had infiltrated the area to engage in charcoal burning are now engaged in criminal activity.

Kigozi says commanders of all districts have been ordered to carry out operations to apprehend habitual law breakers.

But the operations have met mixed reactions from residents and Local leaders over allegations of extortion, torture and denial of right of movement.

Ivan Agaba Mugabo, a resident of Ngoma town council, accuses police of wrongfully arresting him for stealing a motorcycle from Masindi yet he bought it in reputable shop in Ndeeba, Kampala City.

Haruna Kiguli, a resident of Ngoma zone in Ngoma town council, says innocent people have been caught up in the police dragnet. He says several people arrested on Tuesday night at 10 pm were actually walking home after watching premier league games in public places.

Sam Sserunjogi, the LC 3 Chairperson of Katikamu sub county in Luweero, says police is often unwilling to release people it has detained even if they are innocent. He claims the officers want to be bribed first.

Sserunjogi calls on police to engage more in community policing and patrols in the season.

Denis Kamugisha the Nakaseke District Police Commander rubbishes the claims and insists operations will continue until he restores sanity in the area.

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