President Yoweri Museveni has condoled with the families who lost their loved ones to machete wielding gangs that have been terrorising residents of Masaka and Lwengo districts.
“I invited you here to condole with you. We shall get these criminals. Some suspects have been arrested because they left all sorts of clues that we are following,” Museveni said on Tuesday.
The president made a contribution of shs10 million to each of the 25 families affected during the attacks.
Each of the 25 families was represented at the meeting held at State House in Entebbe and they returned home with the money in envelopes.
A total of 26 people have been killed and a couple of others injured by machete welding men who have terrorized greater Masaka region in the past one month.
Speaking to the president, the group led by Mary Goretti Nkwanzi reported that the imposition of the curfew has given opportunity to the assailants to carry out the attacks without anyone noticing or stopping them.
“Closure of schools has seen many youths resort to using drugs and drinking alcohol and it is some of these who terrorise us. Lack of electricity has given opportunity to bad elements to hide under the cover of darkness whereas youth unemployment has also made susceptible to criminal acts,”Nkwanzi told Museveni.
Responding to their queries Museveni insisted that the people behind the attacks will soon be brought to book.
“We put curfew to stop illness but we cant stop people from defending themselves. Many people died including Bishop Kagwa, Ms. Mubanda(Freda Mubanda Kasse) and Ssentongo among others. We have lost about 3000 people although other countries have lost more,” he said.
The president however reasoned with the group that the presence of electricity in the rural areas is key in fighting crime and said while the rural electrification is in the process, it will take some time.
He urged Churches and Mosques to use radios and televisions to preach to the people as one of the ways in mitigation COVID-19 pandemic.
“If we open up before people get vaccinated, we shall have more issues,” he said.
Nkwanzi commended government for efforts in saving Ugandans from the deadly pandemic but also for improving the road network in greater Masaka region.
The meeting was also attended by George Mutabazi, the former Lwengo district LC5 chairman.
On Tuesday, two opposition MPs including Allan Ssewanyana from Makindye West and Muhammad Ssegirinya(Kawempe North) were remanded to Kitalya prison over their alleged involvement in the Masaka murders.
Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga had earlier said the two legislators had organised planning meetings in which they promised money and wealth to those who carried out the attacks.
“The suspects indicated to us how they were promised wealth and this was under the command of the two politicians. We are going to record statements from the two MPs who are behind the murders. The statements from suspects indicate that in a meeting at Ndeeba, they were recruited and all was done under the command of the two politicians ”Enanga said on Monday.
However, several politicians, especially from the opposition have blasted government for shifting blame to the two legislators.