Security investigates 33 roadblocks robbed by men in military uniform
The Joint Security Agencies are investigating 33 robbery roadblocks set up by men in military gear on various roads across the country in the past two months.
A number of people have reported robbery incidents involving gunmen in army uniforms overnight. Senior security sources disclosed that currently 33 anti-theft roadblocks have been erected mainly on three highways; Kampala-Mubende, Kampala-Masaka and Kampala-Gulu.
Sources say that 21 of the 33 criminal roadblocks were erected on the stretch between Mityana and Mubende districts. Security sources say the incidents are currently being investigated by the Criminal Intelligence Directorate headed by Brigadier General Chris Damulira, the Chief Military Intelligence (CMI) headed by Major General James Birungi and the CID under Major Tom Magambo.
In some of these robberies, it is reported that the men dressed in army uniforms numbered 13. But the majority of the robberies were allegedly committed by seven thieves. The firearms used in these robberies were described by victims who managed to present themselves as light machine guns (LMGs), Uzi pistols and submachine guns.
Places that have been cited to have recorded more than one robbery include; Nsangi, Myanzi, Matugga, Municipality of Kira and Buloba. What puzzles security is that in some of these robberies, the criminals apparently had double cabins for the security forces, but their license plates had been obscured.
“If we were to give you the latest 999 mobile alerts, you would be shocked. Just in less than two months, the Mityana-Mubende stretch had 21 roadblocks of theft by men in army uniforms. These guys are too professional. Even when they fire a bullet to scare their victims, they make sure the casing is retrieved and taken,” a senior security source said.
Last week, Bukwo District Administrative Manager (CAO), Charles Robert Ogwang, was shot dead in Matugga along Bombo Road. The public was quick to say that he was a victim of armed robberies organized by men dressed in military uniforms.
However, police spokesman Fred Enanga has since said preliminary investigations indicate Ogwang was a targeted victim. It was an act of assassination and he was shot 26 times.
“It was at Kiryowa Cell, Kiryamuli Ward, Gombe Division, that the deceased was arrested by an armed group of strangers, and he parked next to it. The assailants asked if he was Ogwang, and it was at this point that he sensed danger and told them he was his driver. They took out his wallet and phone, which they checked. After establishing his true identity, the assailants fired several bullets at him from the passenger side,” states part of the victim’s account of the incident, as told to the head of Bombo Military Hospital before his death.
Brigadier General Felix Kulayigye, the army spokesman, said the army was also concerned about roadblocks set up by men in military uniform. He explained that at the appropriate time, they will inform the public of the progress that the joint security operations have made against the gangs.
“Very soon we will inform the country of our findings,” he said in a telephone interview.
It is alleged that some of the robberies were committed by men dressed in khaki police uniforms, and Inspector General of Police Mr Martins-Okoth Ochola has since ordered an investigation into the cases of civilians se providing uniforms.