Notorious group Kifeesi seems to have returned to Kampala according to victims of the gang, the Nile Post has learnt. And they have come back with new tricks!
A number of victims who posted their ordeals on social media insisted they had been attacked by Kifeesi.
For journalist, Caesar Abangira, he didn’t know it was Kifeesi until he posted on facebook and in the comments later, his colleagues confessed to have fallen victim to the group.
According to Abangira, as he left UMA Showgrounds in Lugogo on Saturday at around 6pm, he saw a number of ‘half dressed’ boys and girls walking towards the gate where he was coming from.
“I was told by another kid who was slowly walking behind me that they were from Kadanke. The kid said, ‘sir, for your own good, go back where you were. Those people are robbing and beating everyone,” Abangira narrates.
“Before he could complete his narrative, about 6 boys, all below 16 I guess, pounced on some 30-something jama carrying a laptop bag. Ten seconds later, the guy had a ripped jacket, bruised face and a missing bag.”
The journalist narrates that another kid tried to snatch a phone from a car occupant nearby but he was unsuccessful.
Meanwhile Abangira jumped onto a nearby boda boda for his own dear life.
Abangira could have been able to flee the scene unharmed but not so many other people survived the notorious gang .
A number of other people posted on social media to have fallen victim to the notorious Kifeesi group operating around Lugogo traffic lights and Lugogo bypass.
“What is really happening at the Lugogo traffic lights after 9pm? Two colleagues are reporting that they were attacked while in traffic by thugs. One incident involved a stone thrown to break the door glass and handbag picked from the car,” Maurice Mugisha, the deputy Managing Director at the state owned Uganda Broadcasting Corporation posted.
Meanwhile, a number of comments on social media indicated that the problem is not only along the Lugogo bypass but many other areas in the city including Nsambya traffic lights, Yusuf Lule road, Busega, along the Northern Bypass, Kiwatule and Kireka among other areas.
“Those things happen every day.The thugs come from the ghettos of Naguru and go down Jinja road. They are well organised familiar with the area.
”I got attacked by armed robbers in Kiwatule at the washing bay opposite Cynabell supermarket as i was driving home from a very long night of work and shoots after I had dropped off my producer Lugayizi Denis at his place in Naalya,” TV personality Tinah Teise posted on her facebook page.
How they strike
According to accounts by victims and security officers, the members of the notorious group come in big numbers before striking.
“My friend was violently attacked with sticks and stones after he found someone lying in the middle of the road. When he slowed down, thugs came from either side of the vehicle and pounced on him,” one Hassan Zziwa narrated.
The group that operates starting at 7PM uses mostly young children including both boys and girls between from seven years upwards who come in big numbers and they surround the victim.
They start pouncing blows on every part of the body including the head and stomach.
However, as others beat, others are searching the pockets for any valuable including wallets and phones and by the time they are done everything is gone.
On a number of occasions, some victims are left dead by the group that later vanishes in thin air.
For those travelling in cars, they target places where there is always a gridlock or traffic lights and all vehicles have stopped.
They come from either side of the vehicle and using huge stones, they break the car windows and go away with valuables.
On a number of occasions, victims who have tried to fight back have been beaten severely by the group.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga on Monday told journalists that investigations have started into the incidents at the Lugogo traffic lights before asking motorists to be vigilant while approaching the traffic lights.
“We would like to urge all motorists to be extra careful when approaching traffic jams and intersections by keeping all personal belongings including valuables underneath the car; be wary if people standing around; ensuring all doors and windows are locked while driving and avoid street vendors,” Enanga said.
Later, police announced the arrest of 8 suspects who are said to have been nabbed trying to rob other people at Lugogo.
“They are currently detained at Kira road police station but we call upon the public not to panic because we have intensified both foot and motorised patrols in all black spots including Lugogo bypass,” police said in a statement.
Despite arresting a number of suspects especially from near Lugogo bypass, police insisted these were not members of the notorious Kifeesi group.
“It is only that the young boys took advantage of the function at Lugogo and stole from the public,” Kampala Metropolitan deputy police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire told this website.
Asked to comment on similar attacks in other areas of the city, the police publicist said there are not reports over the same.
“We have not received any formal reports from the public about the attacks. Let them report to nearby police posts and stations,” he said.
Before his death, former Buyende and Old Kampala DPC Muhammad Kirumira told the Nile Post that the Kifeesi criminal gang that started in Katwe is mainly composed of former street kids.
“There was a nun who used to rehabilitate the street kids but when she died, there was no one to take care of the children anymore and they resorted to terrorising people in the areas of Katwe, Makindye, Kibuye and the neighbourhood,” Kirumira narrated to this investigative website.
He said the criminal gangs pick names that would make people intimidated and fear them.