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29 Arrested for Lynching Suspected Killers of Bodaboda Riders :: Uganda Radionetwork

29 Arrested for Lynching Suspected Killers of Bodaboda Riders

Sande Ssemanda and Richard Mawanda were hacked to death and their motorcycles were robbed at Kakola village, Katogo Parish, Nama Sub-county, in Mukono district.
UPF picture of handcuffed suspect
The Police and Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) have arrested 29 people suspected of having orchestrated the lynching of five people, who allegedly killed two Bodaboda riders on Wednesday. 

Sande Ssemanda and Richard Mawanda were hacked to death and their motorcycles were robbed at Kakola village, Katogo Parish, Nama Sub-county, in Mukono district. As a result, locals launched a hunt for the suspected robbers and on Thursday they lynched two men.  

The mob went ahead to search for more suspects and they lynched two more youths on Friday while the fifth suspected motorcycle robber was lynched on Saturday. 

Trouble for the locals came when they attempted to kill a UPDF soldier, Kenneth Mugimbisha, who is reported to be at the rank of a sergeant suspecting him to be part of the motorcycle robbery gang.

Mugimbisha ran to Nama Police and was later transported to Mukono Police Division for protection but his newly constructed house was destroyed and property burnt to ashes. The locals said they had a list of more than 10 people they suspected to be part of the robbery gangs.

Security decided to put a stop to the locals’ acts which some said were a witch-hunt for people with whom they had pending grudges emanating from land, infidelity, and other issues.

“I am being fought for my property but I have never been part of the robbers they are talking about. I came in to save the lives of the two suspects they lynched on the first day but from that moment they accused me of being part of the robbers. Now my house has been destroyed and my property burnt,” Mugimbisha reportedly cried out.

Luke Owoyesigyire the Deputy Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson identified two of the suspected Boda Boda robbers as Junior Masiga and Abdallah Semujju while the identities of the rest are still scanty. 

According to Owoyesigyire, Masiga, and Semujju were lynched on the first day. 

“The initial incident happened on April 11, 2024, when two Bodaboda riders fell victim to a heinous attack, resulting in their untimely deaths. Their motorcycles, with registration numbers UFF955G and UFX 119V belonging to Sande Ssemanda and Mawanda Richard respectively, were stolen by the assailants, who callously dumped their bodies in a nearby swamp,” Owoyesigyire said.

Investigations show that Masiga and Semujju were identified by John Senyondo, who is a resident of Kakoola village, Katogo Parish. However, Senyondo did not inform the police but instead alerted the locals who decided to apply mob action against the suspects.

“They located the suspects identified above, beat them up, and burnt them beyond recognition. They later suspected others to be involved in the murders of the riders, whom they arrested, brought to the burial grounds of one of the deceased riders, and executed them before setting their bodies ablaze,” ASP Owoyesigyire said.

Senyondo is now in Mukono police division cells alongside 28 others on charges of mob justice and malicious damage to property. 

Abdullah Kiwanuka, the Member of Parliament of Mukono North has asked police to intensify security operations against robbers and other criminals to reduce incidents of locals applying mob action on people making their lives difficult.

Kiwanuka and other locals’ leaders have also accused police of arresting every person they came across including those who tried to educate locals on the dangers of using mob action. 

Many of the village leaders of Kakoola and other neighboring villages are among the 29 suspects now in police cells. However, Owoyesigyire said security forces are not yet done with their investigations into the robberies and mob acts and more suspects are still on the wanted list.

“Concurrently, an intensive probe is underway to uncover any additional suspects involved in the initial murder of the two riders and the two separate cases of mob justice and Malicious Damage. We urge the public to refrain from resorting to Mob justice, as it not only fails to deliver justice but also obstructs law enforcement efforts by impeding evidence collection,” Owoyesigyire said.

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