Lukaya Residents Demand Removal of Bulakati Army Detach

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In short
Lukaya residents rally signatures to push for the removal of an army detach in their town. The action comes in the wake of a mass robbery attack on Tuesday night in which several soldiers were involved

Residents of Lukaya Town Council are gathering signatures to petition government for the removal of Bulakati army detach from their town.
 
The petition is the result a raid on a Juma Cell village on Tuesday night in which a gang of armed men, some of the UPDF officers, robbed and assaulted residents. Three women were raped in the attack, one was hacked with a machete and a man was shot in the back.
 
After a speedy trial Private Patrick Edema, a soldier attached to Bulakati, was sentenced to five years in prison for participating in the robberies. He was dismissed from the army with disgrace.
 
The Lukaya residents however say this action isn’t enough.
 
Bashir Baswadde Jjingo, one of the victims and Sheikh Bbulu Kasule the Imam of Lukaya have begun to lobby support for an official petition to remove the army detach.
 
Sheikh Kasule says that since Bulakati army barracks was established in 2009 to protect Lukaya Airfield, insecurity in the area has increased. He says the sentencing of Private Edema confirms his fears that many more soldiers are involved in crime in Lukaya.
 
Kasule says he receives numerous complaints from his flock at Lukaya Mosque.  He wants more stringent action taken to stop the violence.
 
Bashir Jjingo says he believes Private Edema’s speedy trial and sentencing were a cover-up. He says that while the soldier may have participated in the robbery, he is being used as a scapegoat to stop the prosecution of other UPDF officers.
 
Jjingo claims that on the night of the robbery, he saw three soldiers in army uniform. He says he can’t fully identify them because he was terrified; it was dark and the threatened to shoot him.
 
The robbers stole 240,000 shillings from Jjingo. He says he intended to use the money to open a kiosk for his wife and is now completely broke.
 
The Lukaya LC3 chairperson, Kiddu Ssali, says he hopes to deal with the petition before his term of office expires in May. He says the transfer of Bulakati army detach will top the agenda of his next council meeting.
 
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About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.