Alleged Army Raid on Lukaya Village Sparks off Demonstration

3396 Views Lukaya, Uganda

In short
Armed robbers attack Juma Cell village in Lukaya Town Council. Three women are raped and one man is shot in the stomach. Believing soldiers from Lukaya army detach to be behind the raid, the Juma Cell residents invade the UPDF base demanding justice.

More than 300 people have stormed the Uganda People’s Defence Forces detach in Lukaya Town to protest a raid on their village last night.
 
Richard Mujuzi the Secretary for Defense in Juma Cell, a Lukaya locale, says that last night a large gang of men armed with machetes and guns invaded the area. He says the broke into 20 homes and stole property worth millions of shillings.
 
Three women, one of them a student of Wagwa Secondary School, were raped.
 
Mujuzi says a prison warder, Rose Namutebi, was seriously injured in the robbery when one of the thugs inflicted a deep cut to her arm. He says Namutebi’s husband, who was visiting Lukaya for the night, attempted to protect his wife and he was shot in the stomach.
 
Both Namutebi and her husband are admitted in critical condition at Masaka Referral Hospital.
 
The Juma Cell Secretary for Defence says some residents identified the robbers as soldiers of Lukaya army detach.  He says they have now stormed the detach demanding the release of the soldiers into their hands.
 
Elias Sempungu is one of the victims of last night’s raid. He says he was woken up by people breaking down his door.
 
The gunmen threatened to kill Sempungu up if he didn’t hand all his money to them. He says he only had 3,000 shillings on him which he surrendered to them.  However the robbers weren’t about to give up that easily. They beat him up severely before moving on to another home.
 
The Intelligence Officer of Masaka Armored Brigade, Captain Frank Mukula, rushed to Lukaya this morning to assess the situation. He has refused to hand over the suspect and says the army will conduct its own investigations into the matter.
 
The victims of last night’s robbery are holed up in Lukaya army detach giving their statements to the police. Among them are two of the rape victims who have not yet had access to medical care.
 
In the meantime, a dispute has arisen between the police and the army over how to deal with the matter.
 
Rehema Samanya, the District Police Commander of Kalungu, says the robber is a police case. However the army says it has its own disciplinary measures to take against any suspects.
 
Samanya says this is the first incident of its kind in Lukaya and the rest of Kalungu district. The residents disagree.
 
Ahmed Kasinga says his father, Mohammed Lutaaya, was last year killed in a robbery on the Lukaya-Kalungu Road. He says his father fell victim to the numerous illegal roadblocks erected on roads in and out of Lukaya every week.
 
Kasinga says it is well known among the population that some UPDF soldiers are behind the crime.

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