The Government has assured the public that the ongoing killings in the greater Masaka area are untenable and will soon be defeated decisively.
While presenting to Parliament, a statement on the state of affairs in the area that includes that districts of Lwengo, Bukomansimbi and Masaka city, the State Minister for Internal Affairs, Gen. David Muhoozi said the killings in the area are not propagated by financial gains but rather intended at creating terror and fear within the population.
“Whatever the motive, the intended effect is to cause fear, terror and apprehension in the public. They use the same killing method of hitting the victims on the head with blunt objects. The killings are also indiscriminate,” Muhoozi explained.
The Minister pointed out that whereas the attackers don’t take anything from their victims despite killing them, they use a similar pattern that he said has been reported in several villages where the attacks have happened.
“The killing pattern is also in the timing that mostly occurs between 20:00Hrs-22:00Hrs of the night. They waylay the victims and also attack vulnerable people in houses. They use motorcycles and foot, to move and this was testified by some survivors.” He added.
On action taken by the Government in Lwengo district, Muhoozi informed the House that security had arrested a number of suspects involved in the murders and attacks, set up Joint operations with police in small squads manning snap checkpoints and searching for suspects, apprehension and checking motorcycles and motor vehicles moving at night.
Additionally, he reported that they have intensified intelligence for any related lead Information, found security mobilization formation of security committees in the affected communities, reinforcement of the police with additional boots on the ground, the canine unit and other technical capabilities.
In Bukomansimbi District, the minister reported that they had equally intensified joint motorized patrols to instill confidence in locals especially in Kibinge and Kitondo sub counties.
Four suspects identified as James Gingo, Daudi Ssemanda, Musa Mawanda and Henry Kiganda had been arrested from Bukomansimbi and will be remanded to prison according to Muhoozi.
“Senior security leaders have been tasked by the National Security Council to go to the affected areas and conduct an on-spot assessment and work out an effective plan of action with the area district security agencies in order to decisively deal with this insecurity, bring the culprits to book, and return normalcy to the affected areas,” Muhoozi added.
Deputy Speaker Anita Among cautioned members against politicizing the matter, but rather provide solutions.
But Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda raised concern with the slow manner in which Government had responded to the matter, compared to how police responds to political activities.
“If there was a protest in Kampala all army Generals including commandos from Somalia would be in Masaka to quell the protests. This is because, to them, protection of the regime is more important than protecting the lives of the people,” said Ssemuju.
“There are areas in Uganda where people who are grazing have guns. In other areas where people are being butchered and those whose duty is to protect them are here in Kampala sleeping,” he added.
Nakawa West MP, Joel Ssenyonyi said it is appalling that the spate of murders in Masaka has returned, the same having occurred over three years ago in the same area.
“Never ever should it happen in this country, that people are killed for a month every single day and it takes a whole month for the concerned Minister to establish a presence and eventually give a report,” said Ssenyonyi.
Makindye West MP, Allan Ssewanyana on the other hand asked Government for assurance on compensating the families of locals who lost loved ones and those injured during the attacks as directed for by President Yoweri Museveni.
Leader of Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga appealed to the Speaker to send the committee on defense and internal affairs to Masaka to understand what is happening. He pointed out that the community would be more open to the committee.