Police have arrested a man identified as Aziz Ssempala, said to be the leader of a gang that has been staging illegal checkpoints in various villages of Mukono district with intention of robbing travelers and extorting boda boda riders.
Ssempala who was wearing a local defense unit uniform had staged an illegal checkpoint near Kyawambogo trading center in Nakisunga sub county, stopping and extorting money from motorcycle riders when information leaked to police.
A joint team of police and army led by Hawah Namukome, the Officer in Charge-OC of Kyetume police post stormed the illegal checkpoint and arrested the suspect.
The force proceeded to check the apartment Ssempala had hired at Namuyenje trading center, Nakisunga sub-county and landed on military attires and rounds of ammunition hidden in his room.
Ssempala had staged the checkpoint with two other unidentified men in plainclothes who managed to escape. However, according to security officers, it is believed he has a gang of over ten people that assist him to stage illegal checkpoints during day and night hours. He is currently detained at Mpoma barracks.
Hakim Mulyowa, a resident in Kyetume trading center but with a garden in Namuyenje says she was surprised to see the said officers charging money from people riding motorcycles carrying foodstuff, which prompted them to report to police.
President Yoweri Museveni authorized motorcycles carrying cargo to move before 5.00pm, and also to carry patients.
“One gangster has been putting on reserve force uniform and there were two others in plainclothes carrying sticks in the shape of police batons,” Mulyowa says. “They have been stopping whichever motorcycle uses that route.”
The Officer in Charge-OC of Mukono Police Division Ismael Kifudde notes that the operation is still on to apprehend Ssempala’s other accomplices and a detailed report will be issued.
Kifudde also warns people who are still insisting on traveling to various places that they are risking their lives to the disease and to such criminals. He also warns that police will not hesitate to as well arrest people flouting the 42 days restrictions.
Meanwhile, police are still struggling to stop private vehicles plying the route of Kampala-Jinja highway.
According to police, many have started paying off pregnant women to escort them while others move with forged documents issued by private health facilities recommending further assessments and treatment from bigger facilities in Kampala and Wakiso.