The joint security task team investigating the rampant panga wielding assailants in greater Masaka has identified15 prime suspects.
The heartless assailants have so far killed 26 people using machetes, clubs and other blunt objects to hack their victims to death in Masaka and Lwengo districts since July 21.
According to Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga, six of the 15 suspects are connected to murders in Masaka while the nine are connected to Lwengo killings.
According to Enanga have been identified as Kawalya Yazid, Sserwadda Mike, Muwonge Jude, Kibedi Yowana, Nakakawa Sylvia and Jjemba Francis. Police says the group formed the first cell based in Kimanya-Kabonero division in Masaka city.
“These six suspects are linked to hacking and beating to death nine people in Masaka, they have confessed to committing the crime and also informed us that they are part of the wider criminal gang, but their cell was based in Kabonero division,” Enanga said.
Others include’ Mukasa Idrisa who was a resident of Kikungwe, Mugerwa Francis alias Kizza who was a resident of Setala village, Kakooza Sulaiman who was a resident of Senya, Nampijja Muhangaza, 78, who was a resident of Kasali, Yeye Peter who was a resident of Bisanje village, Mulindwa Mad 44, who was a resident of Kiteredde and Nakato Maria, a resident of Kalagala.
Enanga identified the nine suspects in Lwengo district killings as Kibirango John Bosco alias Boy, Sewankabo Muhammad, Namata Justine, Sebunya Issa, Ngabirano Sebastiano, Kabayo Henry, Mutabazi Baptist, Kaganda Moses and Kayebula Joseph.
Security links the nine Lwengo suspects to the murder of Kabanda John and Kalya Vincent who were part of the first victims on July 21, 2021. Kabanda and Kalya were reportedly killed by Kibirango John Bosco, Ssegawa Muzafaru and Ssewankambo Muhammad.
Enanga noted that on July 31st, the suspects killed Nkaka Joseph, 51, and Kaweesi Godfrey who were residents of Nakalete village. On August 2nd, they hacked Bwanika Joseph who was a resident of Kiseka village, and on August 4th, they hacked Ddumba Joseph Lutakome, while on August 12th, Lubega Aramanzani was also found hacked.
Other victims include Sowedi Kayemba who was killed on August 15th at Mpumudde village, Ibrahim Sebwaana who was killed on August 16th at Byangiri village, Galiwango Paul and Mande who were killed in Nasiti-Ndagwe village, Mbazira Richard who was hacked in Kyambogo village, Nantale Joyce who was hacked in Kasana parish, Bukenya Fred, Kilembwe Henry, 80 and Lusiina Vincent, 70 who were attacked by unknown assailants.
“There are three cells,” Enanga said. “One is based in Bukoto South in Lwengo and another in Kimanya Kabonera. There is a new cell that is still active. Our joint task team of operational officers and investigative teams continue to pursue the characteristics of these offenders.
The State Minister for Internal Affairs Gen David Muhoozi has said the ongoing acts of murder in greater Masaka is intended to spread terror among the population.
Muhoozi and other security chiefs are in Masaka to assess the situation that has created fear among the locals in the area where a number of people have been killed by machete-wielding men.
He assured the population that some suspects have been arrested in connection to the murders, adding that these machete-wielding thugs will be dealt with as soon as possible.
This is the third time greater Masaka districts are facing machete attacks. The last murders that happened in the end of 2018 and early 2019 left 13 people killed. But this wave has so far claimed lives of 26 people.