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Six panga-wielding hitmen attack Wakiso women, one killed

By Simon Masaba

Added 27th January 2020 12:00 PM

One thug named after French footballer Karim Benzema attempted to harm a Police officer with a sharp knife

Six panga-wielding hitmen attack Wakiso women, one killed

Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Patrick Onyango. File Photo

One thug named after French footballer Karim Benzema attempted to harm a Police officer with a sharp knife

In a night raid, an organised criminal gang comprising six armed men attacked and injured several women in Wakiso district, Police has revealed.

On Sunday, Police and sister security agencies launched a manhunt for assailants that waylaid the women.

The Kampala Metropolitan Police (KMP) spokesperson, Patrick Onyango said: "Six thugs armed with Pangas, knives and stones waylaid some women at Nakivulo village Bulaga in Wakiso," adding that, "The thugs robbed women's bags, unspecified amounts of cash, Phones and also assaulted victims (women)."

According to the Police, the gruesome attack on women in Bulaga village happened at the wee hours of Saturday morning.

Investigations, arrests 

Onyango said that they received information about the attack via Police's toll-free lines, an emergency rescue team including 999 Police patrols were dispatched.

One thug named after French footballer Karim Benzema attempted to harm a Police officer with a sharp knife, an action that prompted officers to defend themselves by shooting. He was injured and died as he was being rushed to Mulago Hospital.

So far, two suspects Akiram Ssemanda, 23, and Innocent Ssebagala, 26, all residents of Bulaga village, have been arrested over allegations related to the attack on the women.

According to Onyango, exhibits which included, pangas, ladies bags, stones and torn clothes from victims, have been recovered and sent the government analytical laboratory for analysis, pending further inquiries.

By press time, there was a heavy security deployment in Wakiso, led by the Police.

Last year, Police arrested over 21 suspected panga-wielding men who were said to have been terrorising the people of Ntenjeru, Kisoga town council in Mukono constituency.

As a means of intensifying the fight against crime, the deputy Inspector General of Police, Maj. Gen. Muzeeyi Sabiiti, announced a robust and elaborate plan to combat the spiralling crime rate, characterised by cases of robbery and burglary.

According to Sabiiti, Police, among other measures set up rapid response teams in zones/villages in order to ensure that all cases of robberies reported are promptly acted on.

This followed a directive from President Yoweri Museveni to Sabiiti to work out a quick plan of action to combat criminal gangs in Kampala and the surrounding areas.

In his directive, Museveni instructed Sabiiti to submit within two days a plan of how the criminals terrorising the residents of Kampala and the surrounding areas would be dealt with following a spate of attacks and murders by thugs.

Hotlines for local communities

According to Sabiiti, each of the police stations countrywide will have a counter hotline, besides the known mobile telephone numbers of the commanders, which he said are sometimes not reliable.

"Each household must have this counter hotline number. It is the one residents should call in case of an emergency. These numbers will be operational 24 hours, seven days a week," Sabiiti stressed.

Once this number is called, the Police officer on duty is expected to alert the area rapid response team to act immediately. Failure to respond to emergency calls by a police officer will Police officers have been circulating the emergency numbers (hotlines) whenever they go for community policing in different villages/zones. The same numbers are written and pinned on community noticeboards, including places of worship.

Village registers, Maps

Sabiiti also revealed that they have intelligence information that indicates that when criminals rent houses in areas where they do not reside, they use them for surveilling their victims and the movement of security personnel before they engage in crime.

As a stop-gap measure, local council (village) chairpersons are being asked to register all their residents afresh to weed out criminals.

Police will also work with local authorities to mark routes and residences, which will make it easy for the response team to establish the exact location that may need help.

Sabiiti revealed that they will work out a plan to ensure that some roads are lit and bushes are cleared, arguing that darkness and bushes have been found to be hideouts for criminals.

The deputy Police boss said they have in the past few months documented criminal gangs and dismantled several of them. "The process is still ongoing."

As a precaution, Sabiiti advised the public to avoid moving with huge sums of money without requisite security contingencies.

He added that they have put in place a WhatsApp number — 0707114114 — to which members of the public can send text messages.

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