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Besigye speaks out on shooting at his fuel station

Dr. Kizza Besigye reacts to the Nsambya shooting. He is the owner of the petrol station where the crime happened. He says the criminals were in civilian clothes. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

NSAMBYA – Opposition lynchpin Kizza Besigye has described the circumstances under which security operatives on Saturday evening shot dead two armed men at his police station in Nsambya, a Kampala suburb.

Addressing journalists after arriving at the crime scene on Saturday evening, Dr Besigye said the two were shot by security officers in civilian attire as their vehicle was being fuelled by the pump attendants.

“What I have been informed is that some vehicle came and parked at the lower side of the fuel station. And at some stage, a person came out of that vehicle and alerted our staff who were on the forecourt here that something may happen here and that they should remain calm. He went back to the vehicle but they (staff) did not know what it was all about. A while later, another vehicle came to the forecourt parked there and asked for fuel for Shs20, 000 and paid. But as they were trying to fuel that vehicle, men emerged from the vehicle that had been parked down there with guns. They were in civilian attire,” Dr Besigye said.

He said the armed men shot at the two occupants of the vehicle that was being fuelled.

“They came and attacked the people who were in the vehicle that was being fuelled. They shot one dead inside the vehicle. The other one jumped out of the vehicle and tried to run but he was also shot. Later on, they took the bodies away,” added the four-time presidential contestant.

“It is reported that they had had intelligence that the ones who were shot were part of a robbery plan that was intended to rob the fuel station. This is the preliminary information that I have. I have not yet talked to people that were involved in the operation. The station was then sealed off. There were many security people here including those from the military, police and other security agencies.”

The incident is one of the many involving guns in a period of eight months.

Early this month, this website reported that a rising spate of armed robberies involving soldiers has puzzled security agencies, further complicating efforts to stem the crime.

PML Daily has learnt that the men behind this robberies are highly trained and coordinated, which has made it difficult to apprehend them.

Hardly a month after armed thugs raided a hardware shop in Nansana Municipality, Wakiso District,  armed men recently killed two mobile money operators and robbed them of unspecified amount of cash in Zzana on Entebbe Road.

Just like the Nansana robbery, the armed thugs were riding motorcycles without number plates.

Recently, police and Internal Security Organisation foiled a robbery by three heavily armed soldiers at Fang Fang Hotel in Nakasero in the city centre.

In a recent separate incident, police officers engaged suspected armed robbers in a shootout at the suspects’ residence in Masanafu in Rubaga Division.
Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman, Superintendent of Police Patrick Onyango, said the gunmen shot and injured one of the police officers. The policeman, who was shot in the leg, was admitted to hospital.

According to police, one of the two suspects, a serving Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) solidier, escaped. Police recovered two guns belonging to the UPDF and two magazines containing 32 bullets. The guns had UPDF serial numbers.

Sources investigating the matter recently told this website that judging from the manner in which the robberies of Nansana and Zzana were carried, highly trained soldiers have a hand in them.

The police suspect that the soldier, who escaped in the Rubaga incident, is part of the group that has been behind armed robberies in Nansana Municipality in Wakiso District and Rubaga Division in Kampala City.

“The suspect on the run is Richard Kasirye. A big reward awaits any member of the public with information that can lead to his arrest,” said Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Patrick Onyango.

Security agencies also argue that the sophisticated robbers are also able to beat CCTV camera surveillance using masks. In the Nansana robbery, the gunmen had masks. Government has so far spent at least Shs560 billion on installation of CCTV cameras in Kampala and neighbouring areas.

The deployment of  thousands of LDUs around Kampala  and Wakiso has not done much to deter armed criminals.

President Museveni, in September last year, issued a 10-point security strategy which he assured the country would stop or eliminate the criminals.

He said government would instal CCTV cameras, introduce electronic vehicle number plates, give police officers radio calls and drones and deploy 24,000 Local Defence Unit personnel to police Kampala. Since then, 6,000 LDUs have been trained and deployed in the city centre to conduct patrols to check criminals.

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