In his last Presidential address on Security, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni made a lot of emphasis on machete wielding gangs that had terrorized Masaka district in 2019 bringing terror and fear among the residents. The President even paraded a one Nakyambadde a victim of one of the attacks who made testimony to the gang’s dealings.
The purpose of that was to show the complications faced by security in handling the gangs. many allegations have been made by Journalists and Politicians who are attempting to use this tragic event for political capital.
Security forces have already been deployed in adequate numbers to deal with the threat in greater Masaka. The gangs have a clear pattern of attack and profile of victims.
Fifteen people have already been arrested in the areas of Lwengo (9) and Masaka (6) districts in connection to the killing of 17 and 9 people in the districts respectively. More arrests are expected to be made.
Some of the techniques they are using such as the warning papers commonly known as ‘Bibaluwa‘ were also used in previous attacks.
This is clearly a case of organized violent crime with an ulterior motive to terrorize and disenfranchise the people of the affected area especially the elderly and poor. The culprits are operating in groups around the surrounding districts.
What we need to do is give Security the opportunity to investigate and bring the culprits to book without politicizing and potentially jeopardizing the investigations.
Actions such as opposition leaders camping in the district for demonstrations will only mask the problem and give chance to the victims to either hide or disguise their actions. Masaka should be treated as one big crime scene and a no go area for non-residents until investigations are completed.