The Uganda people’s defense forces( UPDF) have joined the police to step joint operations following a resurgence of machete assailants who are killing innocent people in the Greater Masaka region.
According to records, the assailants have so far claimed the lives of 18 people in less than two months.
The latest killings occurred on Monday night in Senya Village in Masaka City after unknown men attacked three people and killed them instantly.
The Monday night incident came less than 24 hours after unknown assailants descended on two other villages -Kikungwe, Kabonera Sub County and Kyabbogo in Kkingo Sub County on Sunday and killed Mzee Diriisa Mukasa, 87 and catechist Richard Mbaziira, 61 respectively.
Brigadier Deus Sande, the Commander of the Masaka-based UPDF armored brigade, on Wednesday said they have launched joint operations with the police to hunt down the assailants.
He explained that they have received intelligence about the racket and they are following various clues that may lead them to the killers.
“The assailants seem to have a hidden agenda of attacking different villages, I only advise our people to become more vigilant as we also do our part,” Brig Sande said.
According to Paul Kole, the Masaka Regional Police Commander, they have intensified night foot and motorized patrols and tightened curfew enforcement. He blamed the killings on the laxity of district security committees and local leaders who have failed to devise mechanisms to guard communities against such crimes.
The latest attacks on residents in the Greater Masaka area bring back ugly memories of night attacks on people’s homes by machete-wielding thugs between 2017 and 2018.
Between 2017 and 2018, dozens of murder and robbery cases were registered in the greater Masaka sub region. The attackers would send prior notices warning to attack residents.
The former Inspector General of Police Gen Kale Kayihura camped in the area for several days to command a joint operation by police and other security agencies.
This led to the breakup of a notorious gang coordinated by Musa Ggaliwango and the late Mohammed Kiddawalime who was killed by a mob in Bukulula Trading Centre in Kalungu District during a foiled robbery.