Police adds the police air wing to strengthen security in Namugongo

By Robert Segawa
As the world prepares to attend the Uganda martyrs celebrations this week on 3rd June,  Uganda police force has intensified security alertness amidst rising terrorism.
The move comes at the time when 23 people have are reported to have perished in terror attack in Manchester city which prompted all world security organizations to declare a critical terror alert.
Speaking to media today the police spokesperson Asan Kasingye said that  they expect over 2 million people  and therefore police is taking  a high stand to ensure a violent free celebration .
He said that despite intense deployment , they have introduced special toll free lines through which people can contact police in case of any suspicious people or objects in Namugongo.
He said that to augment space security , police air wing has been brought on board.

113 arrested, several weapons recovered in police operation against criminal gangs

By Segawa Robert
Police have recovered weapons and tools used to terrorize Kampala and surrounding  residents during an operation that was carried out in the past two weeks.
According to Kampala Metropolitan police commander Frank Mwesigwa, the police first made a watch list of over 100 hardcore  criminals. They were followed, leading to arrest of over 113 people and recovery of  weapons.
Mwesigwa showed journalists weapons including an AK47 rifle, pistol with 9 rounds, axes, pangas, knives, pick axes and hammers among other tools recovered from criminals.
He said the criminals had been arrested from areas of Bwaise, Kiwatule, Najeera, Makindye,Kira and the city centre.
The KMP commander said most of those arrested are repeat offenders who had been released .
Mwesigwa said 92 of these criminals have been charged in courts of law and remanded to Luzira.

Nalufenya tortured suspects drag attorney general to court

By Babirye Sania

The  Attorney General has been dragged  to the High court by five suspects who claim to have been tortured by police while in detention at the now famous  Nalufenya police station based  in Jinja district

The five who are part of the many suspects charged with the murder of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi have been  led by a one Godfrey Musisi Galabuzi.

According to documents before court  the lead petitioner Galabuzi claims that police from the anti terrorism unit commanded by D/SSP Johnson Olal on the morning of the 23rd of  March 2017 invaded his home and arrested him, his wife Grace Nankya and 3 of his workers and drove them to Nalufenya police cells.

He further explains that while at Nalufenya they were told that they did participate in the murder of Kaweesi and that his wife  was responsible for cooking food and feeding the killers.

Galabuzi claims that they were promised large sums of money if they confessed to the crime before being subjected to assault and torture which included being placed  in tinny congested  and poorly ventilated  rooms, fed  on one meal a day and sprayed with toxic gas which suffocated them and affected their sight.

The suspects represented  by  Ladislous  Rwakafuuzi a human rights lawyer claim that they  were later charged with terrorism and murder but released on bond at Kira road police station.

That  one of the suspect identified as private Musisi was later arraigned  before Nakawa court and charged with conspiracy to murder while the remaining 4 suspects have never been taken to court.

The  5 suspects are now seeking court to hold the Attorney General of Uganda liable for the acts of the police at Nalufenya which they  claim are degrading and inhumane  .

The Attorney General has been given  15 days to  file his defense.

Four police operatives arrested over torture of Byamukama

The Joint Police Task Force has finally arrested four police operatives accused of torturing Godfrey Byamukama, the Kamwenge Town Council LC 3 chairperson. They are Fred Tumuhirwe, Patrick Muramira, Moses Kasibante and Abdul Ssemuju alias Minaana.
According to a reliable Police source, the suspects were picked up on Saturday by a combined team of Flying Squad operatives, CID and Special Operations Unit. “We spent the last five days searching for them but now we have them in custody, they could not hide from us, said the source on condition of anonymity. The suspects are said to be in custody at Nalufenya police facility in Jinja District.
Police Spokesperson, Asan Kasingye couldn’t be reached for comment as his known phone numbers were off. URN has learnt that the suspects work under the Special Operations Unit (SOU), which was formed in 2014 at the peak of the operation against suspected members of the Allied Democratic Front (ADF) rebel group in Eastern Uganda.
SOU just like the Flying squad Unit operates under the direct supervision of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kale Kayihura. Kayihura is deputized by Herbert Muhangi who is the commandant Flying Squad while SOU currently has no commandant following the removal of Nixon Ayegasire, two months the ago.
Initially, police had claimed the arrest of the four officers through the media. However, some members of the Police Accounts Committee expressed anguish on Wednesday when they learnt that none of the suspects was in custody as claimed.
As a result, the Police leadership tasked Police Spokesperson, Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP), Asan Kasingye to call the media and apologise for giving false information.
According to police sources, Kasingye who also doubles as forces Chief Political Commissar refused the hold a media briefing that would depict him a liar and even threatened to resign.

 

Civil society organizations deman that legislators investigate Nalufenya incident

By Wasswa Deo

Uganda Coalition Against Torture   has come out to demands that Uganda prisons services reject all suspects tortured prior to remand.

According to the  statement released in reaction to the inhumane torture of 13 men formally detained at Nalufenya police station. The 13 suspects were  implicated in the murder of AIGP Andrew Felix Kawesi, and his driver Godfrey Wambewo and body guard Kenneth Erau.

According to Muhammad Ndifuna the executive director of human rights network, Ugandans are losing hope in the ability by their government to protect them from acts of torture by security operatives.

Among others demands mentioned in the statement,  the Human rights committee of the parliament should conduct an investigation into the allegations of torture and specifically at Nalufenya,  Uganda government  should ratify the optional protocol; to the convention against Torture (OPCAT 2006) to allow free and unlimited access to all detention facilities in the country for inspection by Human rights bodies.

Police investigating gangsters traumatizing Nasana municipality resident

By Robert Segawa

Police is investigating a group of 15 gangsters who have been linked to the throwing of anonymous threatening letters in the areas of Kibbuloka Zone Nansana Municipality.

According to Uganda Police spokesperson, Asan Kasingye, police have received intelligence indicating that these criminals whose names have been withheld  are operating in areas surrounding Nansana, Bwaise, Kawempe Kalerwe and also the central Businesses Centre of Kampala.

Kasingye noted that these gangsters use different public Vehicles especially Taxis including UAU 956P, UAR 787C, UAS 618Q which operate on Hoima road.

Kasingye therefore cautioned the public to be aware of these Taxis and not board them as public means of Transport because thugs use them to commit crimes after threatening people who board them

Mean While Kasingye noted that the security situation is under control by Uganda police with all sister security agencies committed to making the country safe

Luweero residents live in fear over letters posing death threats

There is fresh panic in Luweero district following new letters dropped by unidentified thugs threatening to attack residents. The copy of the letter URN has seen, threatens attacks on residents from Bamunanika in Bamunanika County up to Busula village in Katikamu Sub County.

The thugs ask residents to be ready, saying they will attack any time. Unlike similar letters dropped by thugs earlier, this time around the authors have provided a phone number for those who wish to join them. The mobile phone number is registered under the names of Francis Tanzekpwe.

Paul Luzinda, a resident of Lukowe trading center, says he picked the anonymous letter near his shop and decided to take it to Julius Owori, the Musaale Parish Internal Security Officer-PISO. Owori says he received two copies of the same letter from residents of Lukooge.

Paul Wataka, the Luweero District Police Commander has confirmed the development, saying they have launched investigations into the source of the letter. According to Wataka, they are not living anything to chance since the thugs have kept their word whenever they have threatened to attack.

About a fortnight ago, unidentified thugs dropped similar letters in Luweero town. The thugs asked residents near fuel pump stations and police stations to relocate to a distance not less than 500 meters to avoid being killed in attacks.

The anonymous letters first appeared in greater Masaka and Mbarara areas before they spread to other parts including Kampala, Wakiso and Luweero districts.

Just last week, unidentified thugs dropped anonymous letters at the home of the Vice President Edward Sekandi home in Masaka asking him to join the fight to
overthrow President, Yoweri Museveni.

 

 

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Criminals drop letter at VP Sekandi’s house

Relatives of Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi are in a state of panic after unknown thugs calling themselves UPPF dropped the latest anonymous letter asking him to join the fight to overthrow President Yoweri Museveni.

The letter was allegedly dropped inside the residence of Ssekandi located at Kizungu village next to Hotel Zebra in Katwe-Butego division, Masaka Municipality. It is not clear how the thugs beat heavy security presence at Ssekandi’s home to drop this letter.

The authors of the letter say the time is now for Ssekandi to wake up and fight what they call dictator Museveni and his corrupt tribesmen. They say that it is only through war that President Yoweri Museveni can be defeated.

Cissy Kayiira, one of Ssekandi’s relatives who stay at the vice president’s home, says they found the letter written in both English and Luganda just next to the gate. She says they were surprised at how the thugs beat the security to drop the letter.

Special Forces Command soldiers that guard this home have taken the letter to Masaka central police station.

Vice President Ssekandi who was at his residence on Tuesday has declined to comment on the incident when URN contacted him today, simply saying: “I have nothing to say about it.”

This incident comes a day after unknown assailants shot and killed Gideo Tusubira, a businessman in Masaka at his home in Bisanje trading centre. The killing of Tusubira comes at a time when several villages in Masaka, Bukomansimbi, Lwengo, Kalungu and Rakai have been attacked by thugs leaving at least four people dead and 30 others injured.

The latest letter has now left security puzzled by the wave of criminality in greater Masaka region.

Some opinion leaders blame insecurity on the breakdown of Mayumba Kumi mode of local leadership. Until late 1980s Uganda had adopted a Mayumba Kumi or ten-house cell system of community leadership which was replaced by Local council one administration.

This mode of administration was such that every 10 homesteads had one leader who would lead that community.

Sixty-eight-year-old Joseph Ssengoza is defense secretary at Soweto village in Katwe-Butego division who lived under Mayumba Kumi administrative arrangement. He says the flow of information was swift under this arrangement.

Ssengoza explains that during this arrangement, it was extremely difficult for someone to visit any of those homesteads unnoticed.

He says the flow of intelligence information was very swift which made it easy to track criminals.

Latif Zaake, the Southern region Police commander says police is reviving this Mayumba Kumi strategy.  He says in every ten homes, they are recruiting a village Intelligence officer to feed police with intelligence information.

He says the current confusion surrounding the local council leadership frustrated crime intelligence.

Uganda last held local council One and Two elections more than 15 years ago.

Paul Migadde, a former local council leader says the current level of insecurity was not experienced until 2008. He says the dropping of anonymous letters started in 2008 when people claiming to be rebels attacked the area.

In 2009, at least 10 people were killed in Kyanamukaka Sub County after dropping of anonymous letters.

Migadde says since this level of criminality, police have never successfully prosecuted any people. According to him, the latest wave of criminality may be related to the 2008 killings where attackers gained access into peoples’ homes by drilling holes in the walls.

Police have since arrested at least 90 suspects in connection with current wave of criminality. They are on remand at Masaka central prison on murder, assault and terrorism charges.

 

 

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Police addresses religious leaders

By Robert Segawa

Uganda police force assures religious leaders and other government officials to be calm as they are intensifying the search of criminals who are spreading threatening letters to the different parts of the country.

This comes after religious leaders have received threatening messages that they will be attacked.

Addressing journalists at Naguru, the police spokesperson Asan Kasingye says that religious leaders should stay calm after realizing that even government officials have been threatened.

Kasingye says that they are continuing with the arrest of these criminals. So far more than 50 suspects have been arrested in the Kampala metropolitan area and are yet to be taken to court  for prosecution.

Photo Credit: Kampala Scene

Held Ugandan Journalists released without charges

Eight journalists were picked up in Kampala this morning for allegedly staging an unlawful assembly.

They are Moses Bayola, the Secretary General Uganda Journalist Association-UJA, his Deputy Dan Mukisa, Issa Kigongo, a reporter with Bilal Radio, Jonathan Tusingwire from Pearl FM, Issa Nakabale from Urban TV, Philip Onyango from Mama FM and Ronald Kabuye, Metro FM.

Police intercepted the journalists outside Grand Imperial Hotel as they led a procession from Sheraton Hotel to Emerald Hotel in Wandegeya to commemorate the International World Press Freedom Day.

The journalists were dragged to Kampala Central Police Station where they were locked up. Emilian Kayima, the Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, says they picked up the journalists because they didn’t notify police about their procession.

However, Police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector of Police, Asan Kasingye says he had ordered the release of the journalists. “I have ordered for the release of any arrested journalist. It’s not right.  Today is World press freedom day. Police must not be embroiled in factions of journalists,” he said.

By the time of filing this story, the journalists were yet to walk of Kampala Central Police Station.