Police Arrest Gang Targeting Female Passengers in Wakiso District

In Summary
  • Police arrested a gang in Wakiso District targeting and murdering female passengers in taxis.
  • The gang is linked to five murders from March to May 2024, using strangulation and robbery.
  • Police advise public caution with taxis, recommending group travel to avoid being targeted.
Police spokes person Fred Enanga
Police spokes person Fred Enanga
Image: Robert Ssegawa

The police and Flying Squad have arrested a gang of criminals that has been targeting female passengers in taxis and later murdering them in the Kajjansi area along Entebbe Road in Wakiso District. The suspects arrested include Katongole Abbas and Matovu Ronald, who are both conductors; Turyashemererwe Herbert; and the driver of taxi UAU 737T, Issa Nuwagaba.

According to the police spokesperson Fred Enanga, the gang is suspected to be behind five murder cases involving women on their way to work in the early morning hours between March and May 2024. The gang allegedly lured female victims into their taxi, where they would strangle and suffocate them using polythene bags before robbing them of their bags, smartphones, and other valuables. The bodies were then dumped within Kajjansi Town Council.

The gang leader and driver, Nuwagaba Ronald, was arrested from a hideout in Wekomuli Cell, Bukinda Sub-county, Rukiga District. Upon arrest, a search revealed tangible evidence, including Techno Spark black phones, a sim card belonging to murder victim Nassali Jenipher, a Samsung phone with two sim cards, a red handbag, a yellow jumper, six mobile covers, and cash amounting to 500,000 UGX. Additionally, two taxis allegedly used in the crimes, UAU 737T and UAV 473Y, were impounded and are now parked at Kajjansi CPS.

The first reported incident occurred on March 31, 2024, when 25-year-old Judith Awori, a waitress at Royal Ark Restaurant in Lweza Cell, Ndejje, was found murdered and dumped near St. Luke Church in Lweza. She had been strangled.

On April 23, 2024, another female body was found in a sack at Kawotto Cell, Kajjansi Town Council. The suspect was captured on camera fleeing the scene after setting fire to the body.

On April 29, 2024, Nassali Jenipher was found murdered and dumped at Bweya Cell in Kajjansi Town Council. Her body showed signs of strangulation and was blindfolded with a polythene bag.

On May 9, 2024, another unidentified female body was found along Jjanja-Lutembe Beach Road.

On May 15, 2024, Nangobi Sandra was reported missing by her mother after she left home at Kitende, “B” Cell, Kajjansi Town Council at 5 am and did not reach her workplace in Makindye. Her phone was switched off, and her whereabouts were unknown.

The police have substantial evidence linking the gang to these murders, noting that the motive was primarily robbery. DNA samples from the victims and the two taxis have been collected for comparison.

Enanga cautioned the public to be vigilant when boarding taxis, especially those not from gazetted stages and those with all-male occupants. He advised people to move in groups as serial killers often prey on lone and vulnerable victims.