Over 30 Jinja City marauding thugs netted, victim in coma


Mr Owiny who's now in coma, is one of the Jinja City thugs' victims. Courtesy photo.

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One of the latest victims is Mr Morris Owiny Africa, the director of Atin Afrika Foundation (AFN), a non-for-profit NGO that works to reintegrate children from the streets in Kampala and other major towns in the country.

Jinja2 October 2020: The police in Jinja City have launched an operation aimed at cleaning the City and its surrounding suburbs of hundreds of iron bar wielding thugs who have made life hell in the newly elevated city.

A wave of crime ranging from burglary, theft to robbery and rape, among others, has in recent weeks hit Jinja City where people freely move at night in total defiance to the curfew imposed by government as a safety and health measure against the dreadful Covid-19 pandemic.

The virus has infected more than 8,000 Ugandans and claimed the lives of 75 people.

One of the latest victims is Mr Morris Owiny Africa, the director of Atin Afrika Foundation (AFN), a non-for-profit NGO that works to reintegrate children from the streets in Kampala and other major towns in the country.

Owiny, 35 had gone to Wanyama Zone in Bugembe for a night vigil for one of the town boys Christopher Kibedi alias Chris Ross who had died after a motor accident along Kayunga-Kampala highway.

It’s reported that thugs numbering about 30, stormed the parking lot and they demanded for money before hitting him on the head with heavy iron bars and stones.

Owiny who sustained first class multiple injuries on the head and skull is still in a coma at Victoria Hospital in Kampala, where he has undergone five different operations.

An assault case under reference SDRCF 03/19/09/2020 has been registered at Bugembe Police Station where police say they have launched investigations into the matter.

One of the thugs now in police custody.

Several people took to social media to bash at the police in Jinja, whose major preoccupation is being in bed with shrewd politicians to procure shoddy deals while abandoning their core duties.

Reacting to people’s criticism, the police swung into action and raided many dark spots where they picked more than 30 suspects, including former convicts and hard-core criminals. They are now being detained at different police facilities in the City.

The Kiira Regional Police Commander (RPC) Dauda Hiriga says the operation followed widespread complaints from local leaders and residents in Bugembe Town Council, Mafubira sub-county and former Mpumudde-Kimaka Division.

“We are going to have a sustained operation in the already mapped out black spots for two weeks and for sure the thugs who have been terrorizing residents will account for their actions…,” Hiriga who is barely three months in the region vows.

Mr Hiriga has vowed to restore calm in the City but quickly blamed the numerous thugs on some politicians who have recruited and train militia groups to help them during campaigns.

“…we are aware some of the unscrupulous politicians are the ones behind these youths who are funded to wreak havoc on opponents which is very unfortunate…,” the RPC told reporters.

It is alleged that the unnamed politicians who are known to the police bosses have procured and stored machetes in their homes, which are released during the peak of campaigns.

Police have also blamed the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) who always releases even hard-core criminals under the guise that it’s their constitutional rights.

“…more often members of the public shift the blame on us after seeing the suspects going back home within a few days, now they think we collaborate with thugs,” Hiriga lamented.

Bugembe Town Council, seen as the gateway to Jinja, is also one of the political hotpots in the City with heightened violent activities during campaigns in the last two decades.


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