President, Yoweri Museveni has stopped the ongoing recruitment of vigilante groups to contain the attacks on residents in Bukomansimbi district.
Early this month, local leaders in Masaka, Lwengo, Sembabule and Bukomansimbi districts resolved to recruit vigilantes to provide security and swift response to the repeated attacks by thugs in the region.
It came after unidentified thugs raided several villages in Lwengo and Bukomansimbi districts towards the end of last year killing six people and injuring dozens of others. The thugs also hacked to death retired Senior Superintendent of Police, Dennis Ssebugwawo Lumala.
The attacks prompted the Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura to convene a meeting with local leaders at Kitaasa parish two weeks ago. The leaders blamed the attacks on the insufficient number of police personnel on the ground.
They resolved to form vigilante groups to fight crime in the area. The local leaders also agreed to contribute some money to facilitate the vigilante groups as well as buying for them gumboots and jackets.
The recruitment of the vigilantes immediately kicked off in Lwengo, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts. However, President, Museveni has stopped the recruitment of the vigilantes and collection of money from residents for their facilitation.
The Internal Affairs State Minister, Obiga Kania announced the president’s directive in various meetings with the local leaders in the affected districts.
Latiff Zaake, the Greater Masaka Region Police Commander, says residents can only participate within the framework of the community policing programs.
But Muhammad Kateregga, the Bukomansimbi LC V Chairman, says the vigilantes were being recruited in good faith, adding that police isn’t well facilitated to respond to emergencies. Kateregga notes that police lacks motor cycles and patrol vehicles to police the region.
Lameck Kigozi, the greater Masaka Region Police spokesperson, says police have made a breakthrough in addressing insecurity in the region since they have arrested the key suspects.
He says they have also picked up the elusive most wanted killer suspect, Mahdi Kiddawalime, a resident of Bukomansimbi.