Wakiso residents accuse soldiers of theft, ID confiscation

By Chris Kiwawulo

The affected residents of Kawanda, Matugga, Kagoma and Maganjo, all in Nabweru division, claimed that the soldiers, who start their operations at 8:00pm, forcefully take their money.

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UPDF spokesperson, Brig. Richard Karemire clarified that they have channels through which they communicate with their soldiers

CRIME| SECURITY


Residents of Nabweru division in Wakiso district have accused soldiers who were deployed to patrol villages alongside police in an effort to curb crime, of theft and mistreatment.

The affected residents of Kawanda, Matugga, Kagoma and Maganjo, all in Nabweru division, claimed that the soldiers, who start their operations at 8:00pm, forcefully take their money.

In some cases, the residents alleged that when the soldiers ask them to identify themselves, they confiscate their national identity cards (IDs).

New Vision has learnt that as a result, residents of Kawanda-Kirinyabigo and Matugga held village meetings in which they condemned the soldiers’ unbecoming behaviour.

The meetings in Matugga and Kawanda were called after the Nabweru division chairperson, Salongo Maseruka, received complaints that soldiers were mistreating residents.

Maseruka, who convened the meetings out of concern, told New Vision that whereas there were some issues that needed ironing out, most of the complaints were exaggerated. 

“We cannot afford to have soldiers taken away because the crime rate has drastically gone down ever since they were deployed. The few issues that residents complained about like confiscation of IDs will be addressed with the relevant officials,” he explained.

Maseruka, who said he was slated to hold another meeting in Kagoma, along Bombo Road, noted that criminals were exaggerating the complaints with the aim of having the army withdrawn so they can wreak havoc.

“Generally, the crime rate has reduced ever since the soldiers were deployed and I must commend them for a good job done so far,” he said.

When asked what message he had for the accused soldiers, UPDF spokesperson, Brig. Richard Karemire, said he would not send the message through New Vision. “We have communication channels through which our messages reach our soldiers,” he stated.