Kayihura Launches Crackdown on Criminals in Gulu Top story

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In short
Addressing residents of Kanyagoga B Parish gathered at the scene where Omona was killed on tuesday, Kayihura urged residents to install security lights on their building, report cases of crimes to security and practice neighborhood watch.

Kale Kayihura, the Inspector General of Police-IGP has launched a crackdown on suspected iron bar hit men in Gulu municipality. It comes a day after suspected iron bar hit men clobbered, John Oola Omona, the Senior Assistant Town Clerk to death. 

Omona was killed on Tuesday morning minutes after dropping his female friend in Kanyagoga B parish in Bar Dege division. According to Kayihura, the operation will see heightened deployment of police personnel to net the thugs terrorising residents.

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 He however, explained that the success of the operation depends on the cooperation of all stakeholders in the district including private security companies. Kaihura combed the suburbs of Gulu town on foot flanked by Captain Santos Okot Lapolo, the Gulu Resident District Commissioner and Aswa Region Police Commander, Bosco Otim. 

He addressed residents and boda boda motorists at various stages along the road to Bar Dege Division. Speaking to residents of Kanyagoga B Parish, where Omona was killed, Kayihura urged them to install security lights on their buildings, report cases of crime to security and embrace neighborhood watch.

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He ruled out existence of organized criminal gangs, saying there is no intelligence information to back the claim. Residents narrated several challenges they have noticed with Police in Gulu and night patrols, which include among others extortion from members of the public, release of suspects and collapse of local council administration.

Patrick Okello Lumumba, the Bar Dege Division LC 3 chairperson accused some court officials of collaborating with criminals to frustrate Police by releasing suspects whenever they are presented in court. Kayihura told residents who have threatened to resort to mob justice that he will be in Gulu as long as criminals are still on the loose. 

"I have introduced at every Police station a watch list to monitor activities of suspects released from court because we have information that some of the crimes are being committed by repeat offenders," he said.
Martin Okoyo, the Gulu District Police Commander, says they are holding six suspects in connection to the murder of the town clerk.


About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.