Residents Accuse Police of Using Festive Season Operations to Extort Money

1613 Views Nakaseke, Uganda

In short
Atleast 25 suspects have been arrested so far and charged with robberies, rogue and vagabonds.

Several residents and community leaders have started to question police methods in curbing crime in Greater Luweero districts ahead of the Christmas Season.
At least 25 suspects have been arrested. Many face charges of robbery or being vagabonds.
Some of the suspects include Emmanuel Twahirwa, Muligande Fred, Ivan Mugabo, Robert Karangwa, Denis Mande, Fred Ssebutekera and Fred Migade all residents of Ngoma town council in Nakaseke.
They stand accused of stealing motorcycles from Nakaseke and exchanging them with fellow robbers in Masindi and Nakasongola.
Other suspects were rounded for walking at night with no clear identification papers on them in Ngoma town council.
The Spokesperson for Savannah Regional Police Lameck Kigozi explains that police have launched operations in the area to curb skyrocketing crimes and murders ahead of the festive season.
Kigozi explains that the operation was partly caused by reports that some people who had infiltrated the area to engage in charcoal burning are now engaged in criminal activity.
Kigozi says commanders of all districts have been ordered to carry out operations to apprehend habitual law breakers.
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But the operations have met mixed reactions from residents and Local leaders over allegations of extortion, torture and denial of right of movement.
Ivan Agaba Mugabo, a resident of Ngoma town council, accuses police of wrongfully arresting him for stealing a motorcycle from Masindi yet he bought it in reputable shop in Ndeeba, Kampala City.
Haruna Kiguli, a resident of Ngoma zone in Ngoma town council, says innocent people have been caught up in the police dragnet. He says several people arrested on Tuesday night at 10 pm were actually walking home after watching premier league games in public places. 
Sam Sserunjogi, the LC 3 Chairperson of Katikamu sub county in Luweero, says police is often unwilling to release people it has detained even if they are innocent. He claims the officers want to be bribed first.
Sserunjogi calls on police to engage more in community policing and patrols in the season.
Denis Kamugisha the Nakaseke District Police Commander rubbishes the claims and insists operations will continue until he restores sanity in the area.


About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.