Masaka Residents Form Vigilante Groups Top story

4203 Views Lwengo, Uganda

In short
Francis Mawanda, the Chairman Kyabakuza Trading center along Masaka-Mbarara highway, says they have unanimously passed resolutions with their Lwengo and Masaka counterparts to form vigilante groups to police their communities. Mawanda says they have also agreed to fundraise money to facilitate the vigilante groups.

Residents of Greater Masaka Region have established vigilante groups to police their areas amid attacks from unidentified thugs. The move comes after unidentified people dropped fresh letters threatening to raid homes in Nyendo Ssenyange division, Kimanya in Masaka, Kingo in Lwengo and Buyoga in Bukomansimbi districts.

In one of the anonymous letters dropped last night in Ssenyange village in Nyendo-Ssenyange Division, the group specifically threatened to attack businessman Moses Kalisa of Muto Cement Distribution Company. They say they want the businessman to tell them where he gets all the money he has.

Kalisa has reported the matter to police and UPDF, which have deployed heavily in the area. According to Kaliisa, he is living in fear because of the threat of attack from the thugs. In Lwengo, Bukomansimbi and Masaka district, residents have formed vigilante groups to reinforce security agencies hunting for the thugs.
 
Francis Mawanda, the Chairman Kyabakuza Trading center along Masaka-Mbarara highway, says they have unanimously passed resolutions with their Lwengo and Masaka counterparts to form vigilante groups to police their communities. Mawanda says they have also agreed to fundraise money to facilitate the vigilante groups.
 
He explains that residents have agreed to tenants contribute Shillings 2000 while those with businesses will contribute Shillings 5000 each months towards the facilitation of the vigilante groups.

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Edward Ssentamu, a resident of Mwaaro village, says there is no single security officer on their village. Ssentamu is excited by the establishment of vigilant groups to reinforce police in the area. He explains that the area is home to abandoned coffee factories, which are being used by the thugs.

Kaliba Ssempijja, a resident of Kkingo, says the thugs have caused discomfort in the community. Ssempijja says hat the deployment of soldiers has disrupted their work as they round up everybody.
 

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Mathias Mpuuga, the Masaka Municipality Member of Parliament wants government to explain the cause of insecurity in the region. He says the decision by residents to mobilise funds to fund vigilant groups is an indictment on government security agencies.

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But Latif Zaake, the Southern Region Police Commander says police is still in charge. He says ever since the attacks last month, they have not had any serious attack this month.

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Although police claimed to have arrested 89 suspects in connection to the attacks, no one has been produced in court. Zaake says they are still screening the suspects.

 

About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.