The Police have listed over a dozen criminal gangs that are terrorising residents in and around Kampala.
The media has recently been awash with reports of daring thugs raiding police stations and making off with weapons, killing or injuring security personnel and civilians in addition to rampant robberies of money and property.
Recently thugs raided Mpala police station on Entebbe road and stole a gun and ammunition. Last week a gang raided the suburb of Bweyogerere armed with pangas and terrorised residents.
Latest incidents include a robbery at Mercy Enterprise in Ddungu zone, Kisaasi, a Mobile Money business whose owner, Amon Mwebesa 36, was murdered and his sister, Gloria Kekimuli was torutured.
In Kawempe, a man stabbed a colleague, Ibrahim Musoke and killed him instantly. Elsewhere thugs stole two cars at Bulenga – Bbira on Mityana road.
The Kampala metropolitan police commander, Andrew Kaweesi, said these thugs operate in well coordinated criminal gangs that operate in areas of Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono.
He said the coordination is such that each gang respects the other's boundaries. Operating in another area is only possible after consensus among the gangs.
Bijambiya: This gang operates in Nakulabye with their main base in Kiyaaye. Their operations also extend to areas around Wandegeya and Namungoona. Their weaponry includes iron bars, knives and house breaking implements.
Kifeesi: These ones operate in Kinyoro-Katwe, with their main base at Musoke zone. They use kids aged between 13 and 18 years. They mainly grab women's handbags and necklaces.
They have also registered murder cases. The gang is commanded by a thug nicknamed Face. He is known to have fled the area after getting reports that he was being hunted by police. His gang was responsible for raiding Mpala police station.
Bukolwa Crew: This crew operates in Kisenyi, Kinyoro and specialise in stealing car parts. They use kids as young as 6 whom they groom for their operations, hence their name Bukolwa.
Sobbi: They operate around Nateete and Lugogo. This gang even wears uniforms and don brown shirts with folded sleeves. It is mainly composed of mugged youth. During their operations they move in a “V” formation to ensure when you escape from one you cannot go past the next. Their gang leader Sobbi is now in Luzira prison.
Cheap stores: This gang is comprised of women and mainly target traders in Kikuubo and Owino. They also operate along Kampala streets, taxi and bus parks. They call themselves Cheap Stores because they operate around stores in Kikuubo. They coordinate with mugged men who come to their rescue if caught.
Bipanda Crew: These operate around Clock Tower, areas near the railway station, Kibuye, Queen’s Way, and Ndeeba. They target pedestrians and revelers in small drinking joints and eateries.
Naguru arrow boys: They are mainly young guys from Naguru who give residents in Nakawa division sleepless nights. They mainly target pedestrians who use the railway line near Spear Motors. They also go as far as Kitintale and Luzira. Their main base is near meat packers and use pangas, knives and other objects used to subdue their victims.
Lukanga: It is comprised mainly of former boxers. They operate around Zzana, Namasuba, Kajjansi, Najjanankumbi, Seguku and Kitende where they waylay people and rob them. They spend the day time weight lifting in makeshift gyms.
Bad Life: These ones operate around Wandegeya, Mulago and Makerere. Their main base is Katanga slum. Their crew was responsible for stabbing four women in one night after failing to rape them. Their leader was arrested in Luweero.
Kasolo Boys: These ones oprerate around Bwaise, Kawempe and on the Northern By Pass. They are murderers and rapists mostly. They break into houses by smashing down doors using huge stones and are rumoured to cooperate with area leaders who always stand surety for them once arrested.
Baboon: Their main base is at Kasubi and work closely with Bijambiya to terrorise residents of Nakulabye.
B-13: They mainly operate in Lusaze and the surrounding areas of Bulange and Lungujja. They break into houses and rob
Kaweesi said the Police have depleted most of these gangs by arresting their leaders and those under their custody are in their hundreds.
He also revealed that there are some LC leaders who frustrate police in arresting these thugs, some of whom are their children, relatives and friends.
In a bid to extensively curb crime in some of these areas, police closed a lodge called Daido in Makindye which was a base for thugs.
Kaweesi reiterated that they will hunt for thugs from every nook of the city and its surroundings. He also pointeds to that most of these thugs are let back into the community because courts of law give them light sentences.