Rakai Police Rescues Canibalism Suspects from Mob Action

1434 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
Taban Chiriga, the Rakai Criminal Investigations Office says his men risked a lot to rescue the suspects because some of them sustained minor injuries in the skirmishes with residents.

Rakai police has fired live bullets to rescue three cannibalism suspects. The incident occurred on Thursday morning at Kyakirugu village, Kyarulangira Sub-county in Rakai district. The cannibal suspects are Rameka Kaweesa, Mpoza Peregrina and a 15-year-old boy whose identity has been withheld because he is a minor.

The trio was released on bail by Masaka High court Judge Kibuuka Musoke on August 15 pending their trial in connection with the murder and disappearance of a 21 year-old Peace Kyomukama Arinitwe and her nine-months-old baby.  Despite earlier warnings by residents for the suspects not to return to the village, the trio sneaked into their home on Wednesday night.

However, luck ran out for the cannibalism suspects, when a resident who was grazing his goats saw them and raised an alarm, which attracted others. They came with clubs, sticks and machetes and threatened to lynch the suspects. An eye witness says, the suspected cannibals attempted for dear life, but they were intercepted by residents, who started beating them up.

It took the intervention of anti riot police to rescue the trio from being lynched. However, the mob tried to block police from accessing the scene prompting the officers to open fire to disperse them. The rowdy residents engaged police in running battles for about two hours. They hurled stones at the cops while others barricaded the road with huge logs to prevent police from taking away the suspects, but police managed to contain the situation and whisked away the suspects.

Taban Chiriga, the Rakai Criminal Investigations Office says his men risked a lot to rescue the suspects because some of them sustained minor injuries in the skirmishes with residents. He says the suspects went back to the village without any protection and exposed their lives to danger. He appeals to residents to remain calm and desist from taking the law in their hands saying court is handling the matter. 

Chiriga says the accused have not yet been left off the court since they are under trial. According to Chiriga, no arrests have been made in connection to the mob action and warn residents to desist from threatening the lives of the suspects. Police has deployed at the suspects' homes to prevent further damage.

David Baxter Bakibinga, the Masaka Resident State Attorney blames the delayed trial of the cannibal suspects to the case backlog in the country. Bakibinga explains that they are still handling more than 480 cases that were committed for trial, adding that, cases are handled on first come first serve basis.