Masaka Killings Connected to Terrorism – Gen Muhoozi

The State Minister of Internal Affairs General David Muhoozi has said that security is investigating actions of terrorism concerning the recent spate of killings in the Masaka sub-region.

For close to one and half months, the areas of Masaka city, Lwengo and Bukomansimbi districts which are within the greater Masaka sub-region have been witnessing a new wave of criminality which is characterized by continuous killings that are committed by unknown gangs.

According to police records, a total of 28 people have so far been killed by assailants using blunt objects.

General Muhoozi who on Monday evening visited Lwengo district, the scene of the latest incident indicated that their preliminary assessments are pointing to possibilities of terrorism, a line of investigations security has now taken.

Muhoozi who also addressed a regional security meeting in the area instructed Grace Akullo, the Director of Criminal Investigations Directorate, and Edward Ochom, the Police’s Director of Operations to camp in the area.

According to Muhoozi, their investigations are now focused on establishing the motive of the assailants whose executions he says are similar to those of terrorists. He adds that they have also instructed the investigation teams to critically study the trend of similar killings that have occurred in the sub-region as part of the government’s efforts to find a lasting solution to the problem.

He revealed security has in their custody a total of 69 suspects, concerning the murders, indicating that some of these are going to be charged with terrorism and will help them dig deep into the incidents.

Muhoozi’s security briefing about the incidents has also come at a time when a section of leaders in the area is demanding a special inquest into the killings in the sub-region.

Richard Paul Migadde, the former LC II Chairperson for Kyannamukaaka sub county in Masaka district prefers that government sets up a commission of inquiry beyond the ordinary police investigations, to dig further into the gruesome murders.

According to him, such murders have got a pattern that is traced way back to 2009, when similar killings were executed in Kyannamukaaka sub county where a family of six people were killed in cold blood.

He says that the wave also claimed at least 26 lives in the area, followed by the 2012 killings which occurred in Kyebe sub county in Rakai district.

“These incidents have been continuous in this area and security organs have not given conclusive reports about them and neither have we had successful prosecution of all these murders.

The latest murders should now invoke our curiosity to find what the real problem is, he noted.

However, Muhoozi downplays the demands for a special commission of inquiry, arguing that the government is committed to leading comprehensive investigations that will go beyond the arrest of the culprits, which will help to avoid a re-occurrence.