Police in the Rwizi region have arrested eight gang members over staging illegal roadblocks with an aim of robbing victims.
The arrested include; Akim Mugonza of Biharwe, Nuhu Muwonge of Biafra, Ukasha Kiyonga of Kamakuzi, Dominic Kakumu of Andrews cell, and Kennedy Nsiimire of Nyakaizi cell.
In another operation, three additional gang members including Darius Mukundane of Sheema, a former convict, Charles Namanya of Nyamityobora cell, and Frank Lubega of Mandela cell were also arrested.
According to the police spokesperson, Fred Enanga, the gang was behind a series of illegal roadblocks and robberies in the region.
“For instance on September 30, 2022, while armed with pangas, they staged an illegal roadblock at HIT bar, along the Mbarara-Burembo road, and robbed Dr. Dickson Mugume of his laptop, router, two power banks, 2 mobile phones, and a bag with personal belongings,” Enanga said.
Accordingly, Mugume was from a function and heading towards his home in Nyakaizi cell, at around midnight and where upon reaching Kakoba, found a log in the middle of the road that the thugs used to block his way.
He tried to maneuver his way but was cornered after several thugs emerged from the bush and robbed him.
Enanga says the gang was tracked down using advanced intelligence and arrested on October 20, 2022.
Upon arrests, police recovered exhibits of material value including; two pangas hid in the ceiling, a pair of black jungle shoes, an Itel phone Simcard 1 motorcycle Bajaj boxer under registration number UEW 139D, and a techno smartphone.
The police mouthpiece noted that most of the suspects arrested are hardened criminals and youth who have turned to armed robberies as a way of survival. He said that police will continue their operations targeting criminals involved in staging illegal roadblocks in the region.
“We strongly believe the arrests of these hardcore criminals will help restore some peace and sanity in the region. We pledge to continue with these targeted operations, against violent armed gangs and associates, who pose serious threats to safety and security in respective communities,” Enanga pledged.
The development comes on a backdrop of President Museveni’s recent directive to IGP Ochola to ensure that all roadblocks are removed from highways in the country so as to ensure the smooth movement of goods and services.
Museveni’s directive came amidst increased outcry from members of the public who complained that some security personnel and criminals disguised as security officers were using the roadblocks for criminality.