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September 26, 2021

We have changed tactics: UPDF vows to crash Masaka killers as death toll rise to 30

UPDF Spokesperson Brig Gen Flavia Byekwaso has said that the situation in Masaka is improving and the army is confident that security will return to the area.

Byekwaso said that security forces have been able to step up coordination, giving the machete welding gangs little room to prosper with their motives.

Byekwaso made these remarks while appearing on NBS Frontline.

“The situation in Masaka is improving. I can confidently say the situation is getting better and better, there is a lot of good coordination of the forces and very good vigilance from the public,” Byekwaso said.

Machete-wielding gangs have for over a month now created havoc in Masaka, killing over 30 residents in that time frame.

Byekwaso however noted that security has not been able to identify the motive of the killers, saying it is not consistent as they keep changing strategy.

“There is a change of tactics. The other time they were killing women. Now it is the elderly. You wonder why they would want to kill the old,” Byekwaso said.

Adding, “The killings and the motives are not very consistent.”

She however said that the gangs might have chosen Masaka because it is an area that is under opposition majority, so “Whatever happens there attracts attention.”

Leader of Opposition in Parliament and Nyendo – Mukungwe area MP Mathias Mpuuga however said that security has been slow-paced in handling the Masaka issues, because the community has been crying to them for weeks with little or no help.

“We complained of strangers in Masaka City. Security never responded. Whatever role they were playing and where they disappeared to, we don’t know. At the moment, the people of Masaka have a long list of suspects,” Mpuuga said.

Mpuuga said that the only thing that will calm the nerves of the people of Masaka, is if the government is able to convince them that they are on top of the killings.

“The government needs to assure the people that they are on top of this and they are able to arrest and prosecute these people,” Mpuuga said.

On Monday, the joint security teams investigating the murders in greater Masaka named 15 prime suspects after screening 68 arrested individuals.

Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga said that the suspects have confessed to committing the crime and also informed security that they are part of the wider criminal gang.

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