Security operatives today nearly fought at Lukaya army detachment over the arrest of a soldier suspected to have been involved in a recent robbery in the town.
This morning, police arrested Patrick Edema, one of the suspected UPDF soldiers in connection with the armed robbery of about 20 residents.
Local leaders say during the robbery three women including a senior four student of Waggwa High School in Lukaya were raped. The robbers also stole unspecified amounts of money from about 20 residents.
The armed robbers, whom the residents suspect could be soldiers, also shot and injured two people. They have been identified as Ssenyonjo Musasizi, a teacher of Kyagambiddwa Secondary School and his wife Rose Namutebi, a prison warder attached to Lukaya prison.
Namutebi identified Edema as being part of the gang of robbers. The Lukaya residents suspected there were other acomplices and expressed disatisfaction with the rest of Edema alone.
Over 300 residents stormed Bulakati army detachment demanding that all soldiers to be paraded for identification of the suspects.
The angry residents accused the army officers of attempting to cover up soldiers who are suspected to have carried out the crimes.
The anti-riot police commanded by Rehema Samanya, the Kalungu district DPC, rushed to the detachment and tried to calm down the residents. They also wanted to arrest Edema and detain him in the police cells pending investigations.
That was when a group of other security operatives arrived at the army detach. They included operatives from Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence and the Masaka-based Armoured Brigade.
Simon Kyomuhendo, from CMI started ordering the soldiers to line up and be identified. This did not go down well with the officers from the armoured brigade led by Kenneth Mushambo.
They instead arrested Kyomuhendo, removed his shirt and shoes and confiscated his phone, accusing him of flouting army rules.
Surprisingly, Kyomuhendo was released after just 15 minutes reportedly on the orders of Gen. Elly Tumwine who spoke to one of the UPDF officers on phone.
Speaking after his release, Kyomuhendo said he had been ordered by Tumwine, a senior UPDF officer, to intervene before soldiers concealed the suspects.
He accused the army officers of torturing him yet he intervened to protect the image of the army.
// Cue in: I found here officers…
Cue out: ...they have to expose you.”//
Efforts by the Kalungu DPC, Rehema Samanya, to take the lone suspect Edema to court proved futile after the soldiers refused to hand him over.
The DPC then stormed out of the detachment saying she was getting confused by the stand-off.
James Jjuuko, the Masaka armored brigade spokesperson, told Uganda Radio Network that they could not hand over any suspect to the police because they can independently handle the matter.
The shot victims, Musasizi and his wife Namutebi are still admitted to Masaka Regional Referral Hospital undergoing treatment.