COL. Elly Kayanja, the commander of Operation Wembley, yesterday said two army officers, a major and a lieutenant, had been arrested for allegedly supplying guns and ammunition to robbers. Operation Wembley is the code-name for the ongoing nationwide crac
By Hamis Kaheru
COL. Elly Kayanja, the commander of Operation Wembley, yesterday said two army officers, a major and a lieutenant, had been arrested for allegedly supplying guns and ammunition to robbers. Operation Wembley is the code-name for the ongoing nationwide crack-down armed criminals.
Kayanja, who is also the deputy director general of Internal Security Organisation (ISO), said Maj. Sam Mwesigwa and an unnamed lieutenant were arrested in Mbarara on Wednesday following a tip-off.
Kayanja said, â€œThe robbers we arrested in Mbarara are confirming that he (Maj. Mwesigwa) supplied the guns.
â€œOne of the robbers was wearing pips of the lieutenant who had also given him a pistol.â€
He could not remember the lieutenantâ€™s name. â€œI can provide the name if given time to check. I was interested in the major because he is of a senior rank like me,â€ he said.
â€œWe have entered the phase of identifying the source of the guns used in robbery. Some soldiers are involved,â€ he said.
Asked how many soldiers he had arrested to date, Kayanja said, â€œThey are many to be honest with you. Some say they are not soldiers when they are arrested but after digging up more information, you find they are soldiers. Others say they are corporals and later you find they are of higher ranks.â€
Kayanja said Capt. Moses Kabusenene, the director of sports in the UPDF, is being held in Makindye military barracks on related charges.
He said eight robbers, one of them a woman, have been arrested in Mbarara since the operation started there on Monday. He said one robber was â€œput out of actionâ€ there.
â€œWhat surprised me is that everybody in Mbarara knows these people were robbers. After arresting them they said, â€œmwatu mwaatutambira, tubeire nitubamanya (you have saved us, we knew them),â€ he said.
He said 423 suspects, including eight women, were being held. He said 50 suspects were to appear in the court martial.
Kayanja said one of his operatives, Richard Muhangi, died yesterday from gun wounds sustained in the operation in Mbarara.
He blamed the death on guidelines he received from the Attorney General and the Inspector General of Police, which say his operatives should shoot back only if they are shot at. â€œHow am I going to tell a robber to shoot first so that I can shoot back? What if the first bullet kills me, how am I going to shoot at him?â€ he asked.
â€œThis is how Muhangi died. He saw the man (robber) and just said â€˜hands upâ€™. I think this is how they (robbers) have been killing policemen,â€ he said. He, however, said he would obey the guidelines.
He said the operation had moved upcountry where the robbers fled following the crack-down in Kampala. He said 16 guns had been recovered in Kumi where a total of 50 guns are said to be illegal.
Information minister Basoga Nsadhu rejoiced when Kayanja said he had arrested a notorious suspected robber, Fred, in Iganga.
He said three guns had been recovered in Kiboga. He said a Police officer, Robert Odwa, was also arrested.
Kayanja Arrests UPDF Major