Crime Preventers Arrested Over Death of Rape Suspect

2926 Views Kabale, Western Region, Uganda

In short
Three crime preventers in Kabale district have been arrested by police in connection with the death of Wilson Karuru. Karuru was beaten unconscious after witnesses claim he tried to rape Jesca Hesimana.

Three crime preventers in Kabale district have been arrested by police in connection with the death of Wilson Karuru. Karuru was beaten unconscious after witnesses claim he tried to rape Jesca Hesimana.
 
The crime preventers in custody are Jesca Hesimana (36), Gaston Byamahanga (51), and Jackline Kanana (35). Hesimana and Byamahanga are crime preventers based in Nshanjare cell, Kaara parish in Muko sub county. Kanana is from Kagogo cell, Kashasha parish, Ikumba sub county in Kabale district.
 
The three crime preventers all run businesses in Nshanjare trading centre.
 
Hesimana was the victim of Karuru's attack at her general hardware shop in Nshanjare trading centre on Monday, September 28. Upon being attacked, Hesimana made an alarm that attracted a crowd to her shop. Among the people who came to her rescue were Byamahanga and Kanana.
 
Karuru was badly beaten before he was transported to Hamurwa health centre IV at about 8:00pm. Karuru died nearly an hour later.
 
In retaliation, Karuru's relatives mobilised themselves and invaded Byamahanga's property and destroyed four houses. The angry relatives also killed eight cows, fifteen goats and destroyed property worth millions of shillings. Karuru's relatives went on to demolish two other houses that belonged to Hesimana.
 
Police moved in on Tuesday to calm the situation.
 
Kigezi regional police spokesperson Elly Maate told Uganda Radio network that the police have already initiated investigations into the matter.
 
Maate described the incident as unfortunate because crime preventers are trained to prevent crime and not to instigate it.
 
Maate says police will not tolerate crime preventers who break the law they are supposed to help uphold.

In March 2015, crime preventers in Kamuganguzi sub county, Kabale district, were accused of extorting money from the locals as well as torturing suspects instead of taking them to police.

Opposition party politicians have accused the government recruiting militias under the guise of crime preventers. Masaka MP Mathias Mpuuga claims the ill trained crime preventers are meant to intimidate opposition party politicians and their supporters ahead of the 2016 general elections.

 

About the author

Anthony Kushaba
For Anthony Kushaba, journalism is not just a job; it is a calling. Kushaba believes journalism is one of the few platforms where the views of the oppressed and margainalised can be heard. This is what his journalism aims to do: bring to light untold stories.

Kushaba is the Mbarara region URN bureau chief. Mitooma, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Sheema, Isingiro, and Kiruhura districts fall under his docket. Kushaba has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Kushaba is a journalism graduate from Uganda Christian University Study Centre at Bishop Barham College in Kabale. Before joining URN, Kushaba worked with Voice of Kigezi (2008), Bushenyi FM (2010) and later on to Voice of Muhabura.

Kushaba's journalism interests centre on conflict, peace and electoral reporting. Kushaba occasionally writes on tourism, health, religion and education. He describes himself as highly driven and will pursue a tip until it yields a story.