KAMPALA –Police are investigating how a group of UPDF soldiers attacked a police station in Ndejje, Wakiso district; taking the officers on duty hostage before rescuing their colleagues who had been detained for allegedly staging illegal roadblocks.
Consequently, a case of aggravated robbery and aiding escape of suspects in lawful custody has opened at Lumuli Police Station in Ndejje Parish on Entebbe Road, Wakiso district.
“We are investigating case of aggravated robbery and aiding suspects to escape from lawful custody,” said Luke Owoyesigyire – the Kampala Metropolitan Police deputy spokesman, on Thursday.
It is alleged that armed suspects-dressed in military fatigues had erected an illegal road block at Kakoola village in Ndejje Parish on Wednesday night.
The victims of the aggravated robbery reported to the police that acted promptly – dispatching a patrol vehicle to counter the thugs.
“The suspects fired several bullets in the air, upon seeing a patrol car. But the officers on the patrol remained focused until the suspects were disarmed,” said a source, who claims to have witnessed the shootout.
A police source revealed that at the end of the horrible show – two suspects identified as Pte Job Reti and Pte Orete Were were detained at Lumuli Police Station. But what appeared like victory for police turned ugly – again when moments later a Toyota Land Cruiser Reg. No. UAP 705P– ferrying at least eight armed soldiers arrived at the police station – demanding the release of the suspects – in a scenario that could best fit a Hollywood movie script.
The source said that when the police officers declined to bow to the soldiers’ demands – everyone around at the time was put at gunpoint – and the cops were left with no choice other than letting the attackers take control.
Police has since identified the commanders of the attackers as UPDF Sgt, Tonny Opio and Pius Lutaya.
According to police -the attackers later headed to Mutungo Police – registering a case, in which they claimed that suspects had been injured in an accident and needed first aid. However, they did not disclose to police the health facility where the suspects were being taken.
Several cases of illegal roadblocks have hit Kampala city as well the neighbouring districts of Wakiso, Mityana and Greater Luweero in the recent past. Such cases have been reported on Nakawuka-Kasanje Road; Kayunga-Ssenge-Kawa Road; and Wakiso-Matugga-Kasangati Road.
The gang members allegedly dressed in military fatigue, erect barricades in the middle of the road and pretend to be on routine security checks.
The army has on several occasions denied allegations that their officers were involved in acts of terrorising members of the public. Most of the time army spokesperson would blame civilians to disguise in stolen military attire.
The UPDF deputy spokesperson, Col. Deo Akiiki was quick to dismiss police claims – spinning that the said soldiers were not part of any army establishment but rather guards of a senior citizen, whom he declined to name. He added that investigations were underway to establish what could have happened – promising to cooperate with the police in having the culprits dealt with in accordance with law.
The incident has since attracted an investigation at Mutungo Police Station under the reference SD 18/04/01/23.