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Top Masaka security operatives arrested over robberyPublish Date: Jul 16, 2014
Top Masaka security operatives arrested over robbery
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The Southern Region Police Commander Maxwel Ogwal displays one the rifles used in the Makonzi landing site robbery in Masaka. Photo by Dismus Buregyeya
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By Dismus Buregyeya

POLICE in Masaka have arrested the Lwengo and Masaka District Internal Security Organisation chiefs in connection with stolen fish at Makonzi landing site in Bukakata.

The Southern Regional Police Commander, Maxwel Ogwal confirmed the arrest. He identified the suspects as  DISO for Lwengo district Lt Ronnie Kayondo and the Masaka District Deputy DISO, Lt Jonah Ssewanya.

Two police officers attached to Masaka Central Police Station, Ambrose Ahabwe and Lawrence Galabuzi have been arrested in connection with the incident which occurred on Saturday night.

Ogwal said one SMG rifle with 10 rounds of ammunition belonging to Lt Ssewanyana was recovered and was handed over to police in Masaka.

Some of the stolen fish exhibits taken from the fishmongers during the raid are being kept at Masaka Central Police Station.

Gunshots rocked Makonzi Landing Site during the incident where the fishermen were robbed of fish amounting to over sh30m according to the area LC1 chairman Matia Lugemwa.

“We counted 22 gun shots that the security personnel fired during the incident, they opened houses and boats where they removed the fish and loaded it on a Mitsubishi Canter truck, our people who tried to resist were beaten up,” he said.

Security sources told New Vision Online that the security operatives opened fire when the residents surrounded them at the landing site.

The Masaka RDC, Lenos Ngompek told said that the district security committee has summoned the Southern Regional Police CID boss, Robert Mugwisagye after the suspects revealed that they went to Makonzi Landing Site on his instructions.  

He said police has handed over Lt Kayondo and Ssewanyana to the ISO headquarters in Kampala where they were summoned.  

“Some of the suspects will be taken to the court martial. We are shocked that our own security personnel were involved in such bad deals,” he said.

However, Mugwisagye said that he cleared the suspects to proceed to Makonzi on a security surveillance mission.  

“Am surprised that the security personnel got involved in such a mission different from what they told me,” he said.

Reacting over the matter, RPC, Maxwel Ogwal said it was strange for the office of the regional OC/CID to deploy officers from the Internal Security Organization (ISO) and the Police without his consent.

He said the office of the RDC, the Regional Internal Security Organization (RISO) and the Fisheries Enforcement team should at least have been notified of the operation in Makonzi landing site.

“This case deserves thorough investigation because we have been suspicious of the moves of some of our security colleagues; we have incidents where buses plying along Masaka-Mbarara highway are robbed between Masaka and Lyantonde,” he said.

 The Masaka based UPDF armored Brigade Public Relations Officer, Lt Winston Mwesigye told New Vision that the UPDF was not involved in the incident as some media reports had earlier cited.  

“We have learnt that some of the suspects were clad in army uniform but the fact is that they are not part of us, we have not deployed any persons in Makonzi,” he said.

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