By Simon Masaba
The Police have asked the public to use their skills to knock down robbers whose brazen heists have brought several major towns in the Kampala Metropolitan Policing (KMP) area to a standstill.
A video went viral recently in which thugs moving on motorcycles attacked their victim and robbed him of his valuables. Now the Police say members of the public can knock down any of the suspects if there is any chance.
On Monday, while addressing a joint security conference, police publicist Fred Enanga tasked the public with being more courageous and engage thugs during street attacks, including reminding (the public) about their civic duty and responsibility to present and fight crime.
Enanga noted that the leadership of the Joint Security Agencies is concerned by the repeated acts of cowardice, lack of attention and rescue of victims and poor defensive skills by other members of the public, especially motorists, riders of motorcycles and bodabodas, as well as pedestrians and bystanders, when victims are under attack on the streets,
Explaining the attacks, Enanga said: “In the various Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footages captured on camera of robberies along Mawanda Road, Bugolobi and Kololo, there was no deliberate attempt from other members of the public to stop violent robbers and attacks on bodaboda from injuring and robbing innocent victims.
“Use your riding and defensive driving skills on a motorcycle or in a vehicle, to save life and property. If you cannot stop crime using your physical abilities, cry out for help or record a scenario.”
Accordingly, Enanga said the brave responders shall be considered and protected under the legal position of self-defence and defence of another.
“Arrangements are being put in place to offer support to brave and courageous members of the public who counter such criminals and save innocent victims from injury,” Enanga said.
This came after the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Martins Okoth Ochola, applauded the female medical officer at Kireka who fended off two armed robbers and disarmed them of a pistol.
“If it had not been for her bravely and quick action, the suspects could have injured her or more victims if they were not disarmed. She is going to receive a commendation of merit from the office of the IGP for her bravery and heroism,” Enanga said.
Enanga made the revelations after the Police’s Flying Squad Unit (FSU) made a breakthrough and arrested 12 suspects behind the muggings and violent attacks on pedestrians.
‘‘The FSU has intensified operations on bodaboda gangs, actively involved in violent attacks against victims by thieves on motorcycles. So far, 12 suspects have been arrested, including the two who were part of the gang that attacked Dawit Kasa, an Ethiopian diplomat, on Prince Charles Avenue, Kololo on February 25,” he said.
Enanga identified the suspects as Abdulraman Bakata aka Pancho, Gordon Segirinya, Abdullar Mugerwa aka Musilamu, Augustine Wanada aka Zewu and Emmanuel Nsubuga.
Others are Micheal Mukasa aka Layiti Emmanuel Mukasa, Ivan Muwada, Joseph Bukenya, Derrick, Tomusange, Ashraf Sonko, Mwamadi Kintu and Hundu Nsubuga.
“The suspects have been behind the violent attacks and robberies of innocent victims in Kololo, city centre, especially on William and Wilson streets, Industrial Area, Kabalagala, Kawempe, Kisenyi, Nansana, Namirembe Road, Luzira, Bugolobi, Kireka and Jinja centre,” Enanga said.
He said since Bakata and Segirinya’s arrest, the Police have not registered any other incident. The duo has been named as the most notorious.
The Police spokesperson said an assortment of exhibits was recovered from the suspects hideouts, which were combed by the FSU.
These include mobile phones, laptops and other electronic gadgets. Also recovered were jackets and overcoats that were used by Pancho and Segirinya during the recent attack in Kololo.
“Among those arrested are hard-core suspects, who will be arraigned in the court martial due to the stringent bail terms and conditions, which provide some forms of deterrence,” Enanga said.