The UPDF Armoured Brigade has joined the Police force to contain the escalating murders in Greater Masaka Region. This follows the unexplained killing of 18 people in the region in less than two months.
The killings started in early July and spiralled into this month. Some of the victims escaped with serious injuries. Brigadier Deo Sande, the Commander of the Masaka Armoured Brigade, says that they have launched joint operations with the police to hunt down the assailants.
He explains that they have received intelligence about the racket and they are following various clues that may lead them to the killers.
The latest incident happened on Monday night when machete-wielding thugs raided Ssettaala village in Ssenya parish, in Kimaanya-Kabonera division in Masaka city and killed three people leaving another badly wounded.
The dead have been identified as Sulaiman Kakooza 56, Kizza Luswa, 50 and Dan Kiyimba, 38. Another resident Ronald Ssebyoto,25, is admitted in critical condition at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital. According to Paul Kole, the Masaka Regional Police Commander, they have intensified night foot and motorized patrols and tightened curfew enforcement.
He says that whoever is found moving beyond curfew time may be treated as a suspect since the killings were committed during curfew. He blamed the killings on the laxity of district security committees and local leaders who have failed to devise mechanisms to guard communities against such crimes.
Muhammad Nsubuga, the Masaka Region Police spokesperson said they arrested some suspects early this month who are helping police with the ongoing investigations.
Local leaders have welcomed the joint operation, saying it will bring some relief to different communities. Vincent Ssewajje, the Ssettaala Village LC I chairman, whose son Ronald Ssebyoto, was admitted in critical condition after the attack, suspects that the assailants are operating in an organised criminal racket.
He urges police and the army to follow every lead to identify the suspects and bring them to justice. Aloysius Kibira, the Kkingo Sub county LC III Chairperson, says that he has lost three people in his sub-county in a similar manner and suspects this to be the work of organized criminals.
Steven Lukyamuzi, the Mayor -Kimanya Kabonera Division, says that everyone including the leaders are living in fear for their lives because they do not know the motive of the killers.