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Kyotera Police Post Remains Closed Two years After Gun Theft

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Lutti police post, which used to serve five parishes in the town council, was closed by the police management two years ago after unknown thugs raided the outpost and made off with two firearms.
Lutti police post which has been deserted for two years

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Tension is high among residents and leaders of Kasaali town council in Kyotera district because of the escalating crime rates. Residents blame the soaring crimes rates on the absence of police in the town council to enforce law and orders.  

Lutti police post, which used to serve five parishes in the town council, was closed by the police management two years ago after unknown thugs raided the outpost and made off with two firearms.       The affected are Gayanza, Nkenge, Kyakonda, Biikira and Buyingi parishes. 

The most common crime in the area includes livestock theft, armed robbery, rape, defilement, housebreaking and marijuana smoking. Benon Ssempijja, one of the affected residents of Gayaza village, says crime was minimal when the police post was functional. 

He however, says criminals are on rampage since there is no one to apprehend them. Sempijja discloses that machete wielding thugs raided his home in June and robbed him of over Shillings 200,000. They reportedly warned to return for more money or else bump him off. 

According to Sempijja, they travel 6kms to report cases at Kyotera police station, which costs them huge sums of money. He says the absence of a police post has created room for residents to resort to mob justice when they apprehend suspected criminals. 

Mike Lumala Zizinga, the Kyampagi Village Youth Chairperson in Gayaza parish, says that although the firearms were recovered a few weeks after, police authorities declined to reopen the post.       

//Cue in; “Jukira police eno... 

Cue out……egamba nti teyina.”//

He explains that their pleas to reinstate the police post to step up security in the parishes haven’t yielded results. Zizinga says village councils can’t handle certain cases, which require police expertise.     

//Cue in; “Kireese obumenyi…   

Cue out………nga elina kitono.”//      

 

Milly Babirye, a resident of Kyampagi village has so far lost five mature pigs to thieves within three weeks.  She recounts a scenario in, which two thieves she caught red-handed taking her pig threatened to kill her.      

Babirye says that even when one makes alarm, the neighbors fear coming out of their houses especially at night during a blackout. Last year, unknown assailants dug a hole in the house of Ponsiano Sserumaga, a prominent farmer in Kasaali and butchered him.    

Residents blame local leaders for protecting youths whom they actually know are agents of criminal gangs that terrorize them. URN visited the former premises of Lutti police post and found it overgrown with grass.

The proprietor of the building, John Mzee Kyeyune is contemplating allocating it to another person since it has remained idle. He explains his family willingly apportioned land to build a police post and a toilet but they were closed two years ago.    

//Cue in; “I called the responsible persons…    

 

cue out…don’t want the police.”//  

He says that neighbors are complaining about the overgrown grass and increasing crime because the place is idle. Steven Kawuuki, the Lutti LC I Chairperson, says he has recorded more than 100 cases since the year began.     

According to Kawuuki, he currently forwards bigger cases to Kyotera police station, which also takes long to respond or address them. Patrick Kintu Kisekulo, the Kyotera LC V chairperson confirmed the problem, saying there are plans to reinstate the police post in September at a new building in Gayaza trading center.

He says the post was initially set up in an isolated place. The acting Kyotera District Police Commander-DPC, Rosette Sikahwa, says they are working out modalities to reinstate the police post. She however, notes that the process may take some time due to lack of sufficient personnel.