Police Okays Recruitment of Vigilantes in Rakai

Police has finally given local governments in greater Masaka region green light to recruit vigilantes to reinforce security to prevent the mystery murders there. Last year, Kyanamukaka and Kyesiiga sub county councils passed resolutions to recruit vigilantes to conduct night patrols to prevent attacks on residents. However, the resolutions were blocked by security on the grounds that such groups were dangerous. This sparked off protects amongst residents in Masaka who accused police of failing to protect their lives and property.

At least 30 people have been killed in the region since this year begun. The latest victim of the murder is Godfrey Matovu, a businessman at Namirembe landing site in Kyanamukaaka Sub County. Unidentifiedassailants hacked Matovu to death and Samuel Katongole. Katongole is battling for his life at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital after he was cut with a machete on the neck. The murder of Matovu comes a few days after three people were killed in Rakai district. They are Edith Tebasuulwa, Sande Kagolo, the chairperson of traditional healers in Rakai district and his wife Cissy Nakalawa. Now, Police has Okayed the recruitment of village vigilante groups to respond to the security crisis in the area.

Noah Sserunjogi, the Southern Region Police Spokesperson says Kale Kayihura, the Inspector General of Police gave the green light citing lack of manpower. He says police has embarked on registering the groups in various sub counties in Rakai and Masaka districts.  Sserunjogi says that the vigilantes will be involved in community policing, gathering intelligence and registering residents around all land sites and hard to reach areas.

Paul Migadde, the Kyanamukaka Sub County LC3 Chairperson has welcomed the formation of vigilante groups saying it is long overdue. He says the sub county is ready to collect some money from residents to facilitate the vigilante groups to protect residents who are living under extreme fear.

Joe Mukisa, the former Rakai district Council speaker says residents of Kifamba Sub County are ready to join the vigilant force. He says they are living in panic following the spate of killings.
In Rakai alone, 20 people have been killed since the beginning of this year.

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