By Steven Candia, Innocent Anguyo & Anne Mugisa
The New Year celebrations in the country were largely peaceful save for a few incidents in which over 120 suspected petty thugs were arrested.
Police the celebrations were peaceful to the extent that places that hosted major events were incident free.
However, in Kyampisi, Kayunga district, there was a gory incident in which a 32-year old unidentified woman was reportedly gang raped and later strangled to death, leading to the arrest of 10 suspects.
Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba said the suspects were detained at Kayunga police station pending further investigations. Details of how the macabre incident occurred were still scanty, she said.
A bulk of the arrests were in the city. Of the 123 petty criminals arrested 65 were arrested by police attached to the Kampala Main Central Police Station (CPS); 26 by Jinja Road Police Station while Kawempe and Kassangati police stations had 10 each and Katwe had six.
Government representatives, politicians and religious leaders pray for President Museveni as they stand in front of his portrait during Pastor Jackson Senyonga of Christian Life Ministries New Year prayers at Kololo independence grounds. Photo/Tony Rujuta.
“By and large the celebrations were peaceful,” Nabakooba said.
At Garden City Shopping mall in the city there was momentary disruption as the Bomb Squad of the police Counter Terrorism Unit swung into action at about 7:00pm, responding to an alert that a bomb could have been planted in the place.
Police sealed off the place as they swept the mall with sniffer dogs before later opening it up to the public, convinced the mall was secure.
However, there was anxiety and panic as the police went about the operation. Police yesterday could not readily comment on the matter and it is not clear what their finding was.
Nabakooba said the six arrested by Katwe are said to be members of the notorious Kifesi criminal gang and were picked around Queens Way for allegedly grabbing hand bags and jewelry from women.
The 10 arrested by Kawempe, she said, were arrested around Lubigi swamp. “Basically most of those arrested are suspected petty criminals in connection with simple robberies and thefts,” she said and hailed the police and sister security agencies for securing the events.
She also thanked the public for the continued support and vigilance. In a related incident, the police in the city arrested and detained a car washer who for unclear reasons murdered his colleague by clobbering him to death with a stone.
Junior Lazaro was arrested following the 6:00am gruesome incident near NIC building in the city centre.
In the bizarre incident, it is alleged that Lazaro found his unidentified colleague asleep near the NIC building and crushed his head with a boulder. Police said both Lazaro and the victim worked at a car washing bay along Pilkington road.
“For unknown reasons he just threw a stone on his head and killed him,” Nabakooba said adding that it is probable that the two had spent the night merry making and could have developed differences. Lazaro, she said, was detained at CPS on a charge of murder.