Calm has returned to Lwengo after two days of protest following the rearrest of a well known businessman wanted for murder.
Ronald Kabenge, a businessman, is accused of murdering Moses Ssamula, a fellow businessman of Mbirizi town in Lwengo district. It is suspected Kabenge had Ssamula killed as part of a ritual sacrifice to increase to his wealth.
Ssamula was murdered on February 1, 2014. His body was found near Lwengo Sub County with private parts, ears and some internal organs missing.
Kabenge was initially arrested in May but released after a few days. Police said he had been released on police bond. Some residents accused the District Police Commander Paul Wataka of taking a bribe from Kabenge for the release.
Kabenge quickly went into hiding and interest in Ssamula’s murder seemed to wane.
However, three men arrested in August claimed that they had been hired by Kabenge to kill Ssamula.
Noah Sserungoji, the greater Masaka region police spokesperson named the three suspects as Jude Sseruuma, Swaibu Kabiito and Zubair Kabiito.
Police then launched a man hunt for Kabenge. Sserunjogi says Kabenge was found hiding out in Kawempe, Kampala and arrested.
Upon news of his arrest, a crowd gathered around Lwengo central police station and attempted to storm it and lynch Kabenge. The crowd said they wanted to avenge the murder of Moses Ssamula.
Bruce Tushabe, the coordinator Volunteer Uganda, a human rights organization claims that several people were beaten up by police during the riots.
They also attempted to lynch Paul Wataka, the Lwengo DPC whom they accused of corruption. The attack on Lwengo police station forced police to fire live bullets and use teargas stop the charge.
DPC Paul Wataka denied all corruption allegations brought against him. He says he ordered police to disperse the residents because they wanted to destabilize the area. He says the suspect is detained at Lwengo police station but they plan to transfer him to Masaka Central Police for his own security.
Sula Ntanda, Moses Ssamula’s relative, says he is happy Kabenge has been arrested. He says they hope police takes him to court, charge him with murder and prosecute him. He says since Ssamula’s death his family has been struggling because he was the bread winner.