One of the suspects arrested for masterminding the wave of insecurity in Masaka, Kampala and Wakiso districts has pinned police officers for knowingly providing protection to criminal gangs.
Juma Muyirwa, a suspect who was paraded before the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kale Kayihura this morning, said their planning meetings, often held in Kampala, are guarded by policemen with patrol cars. He observes that one of the meetings police guarded was attended by more than 250 thugs at Mt Zion hotel in Makerere.
“The hotel where we went to meet our commanders; BK and Senga, was guarded by police. They were dressed in khaki,” Muyirwa said while pointing at one of the police officers at Katwe Police Station. Muyirwa said he commanded a group of 30 people in the criminal gang prior to his arrest.
Police has so far arrested more than 50 suspects in Kampala, 100 in greater Masaka region (comprising of the districts of Lwengo, Rakai, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Masaka) and 40 from Mbarara District.
The group is believed to be behind the rampant house break-ins and circulation of anonymous letters warning locals of impending attacks in villages. The letters, first seen in greater Masaka, were recently dropped in suburbs of Kampala and Wakiso districts.
In some of the anonymous letters, the thugs asked residents to prepare enough money and gadgets for them. They asked the underprivileged residents to leave at least Shs20,000 at their doorsteps while the wealthy residents have been asked to keep enough money to be offered to the attackers.
According to the confessions made by more than three suspects, the letters were a brainchild of a criminal gang headed by Charles Bukenya, also known as BK.
Siraj Ssekandi, one of the gang commanders says they have been working for BK. However, their mission was cancelled on March 21, after an initial group that had gone to Lwengo was captured.
“I was asked to bring my crew of 30 people to Zion by BK and Senga; we were there until 3am when the operation was cancelled. They even brought us weapons including Pangas, Machete and hammers,” Ssekandi says.
But Bukenya (BK), a stylish businessman who was arrested two days ago has denied knowledge of the accusations against him.
“He has been interrogated but he says he doesn’t know anything even though very many young men have pinned him as the gang commander,” a source at Katwe Police station told this reporter.
Gen Kayihura says if there is any police officer involved in this they will be brought to book adding that Police has information that there are also some politicians using the same criminal gangs to terrorize residents with an aim of discrediting government.