LUWEERO – Security agencies are hunting for a UPDF soldier who escaped from Bombo army Barracks last week and went on rampage in Bombo Town where he robbed money from a mobile money agent.
Tom Bingi, who is at the rank of corporal, is said to have moved with the gun without permission.
Luweero District Police Commander Benson Byaruhanga said the soldier made off with Shs300,000 from a mobile money agent identified as Japhal Hamza at gunpoint. He added that the soldier later shot in the air to scare away the residents and later went into hiding.
“The incident was unfortunate and we thank God that no life was lost as the fleeing soldier opened fire. We call upon the residents to be calm but remain vigilant,” Mr Byaruhanga said in a telephone interview at the weekend.
UPDF deputy spokesperson Lt Col Deo Akiiki also confirmed the incident.
“We are on ground and hunting for Cpl Tom Bingi who escaped with a rifle. He allegedly shot several bullets in the air to scare off anybody who would confront him after robbing money from a mobile money agent before disappearing into the nearby bush. We shall arrest the runaway soldier,” Lt Col Akiiki said.
Bombo Town Council chairperson Osman Ramathan confirmed the incident, indicated it left the residents scared.
“He took the direction of Ndejje parish. It is true both the soldiers and the police tried to follow that direction but could not get him. When residents learn that a soldier is on the run with a rifle, they get scared. Bombo has been a calm and peaceful place,” he said.
Cases of soldiers going on rampage are not new. In 2016, a UPDF soldier went on a deadly rampage at a military barracks, killing seven people—including three children—before being shot dead himself.
The soldier, Sergeant Isaac Obua, carried out the killings at the Makindye police barracks after having a dispute with his wife, according to military police spokesman Major Edward Birungi. Obua was reportedly drunk and may have been under the influence of marijuana, Birungi said.
He began shooting while looking for his wife, who managed to escape. Four women were killed, three of whom were soldiers’ wives and another female soldier, in addition to the children. Two others are believed to have been inju