By Julius Kyamanywa
Grief and fear gutted Masindi town in the morning hours of Sunday when residents were welcomed by bad news of the death of a person at the hands of Iron bar men. The dead has been identified as Charles Mugume a resident of African Quarters- a suburb of Masindi town. Mugume, whose body was found near Masindi Miracle Center Church, is a taxi driver.
According to police, Mugume was found dead with a big cut on the head and fractures around his neck.
The injured has been identified as Dembe John a resident of Kijura, a suburb of Masindi town, Muhumuza Godfrey, 25, Tumusime Reagan a resident of Kihande 1 and Okwai Mungu, a resident of Nyangahya village.Dembe met the bar hit men near Ministry of Works offices in Masindi while Muhumuza met them near Kasigwa Market near Masindi town.
According to the District Police Commander, Masindi, Juma Okungo, police are looking for the criminals.
“Police are on a serious hunt for the criminals. No suspect has so far been arrested since the incidents happened at night. It was a group of unknown people”, Okungo said.
The Chairperson LC 3, Masindi Town Council, Joshua Amanyire Kiiza says the authorities are ready to deal with the criminals.
“We are going to handle these people seriously. We are doing all we can with the police to ensure these law offenders are punished”, Amanyire said.
The coming of Iron bar men to Masindi has already instilled fears amongst the locals. Some locals say they will be indoors as early as 7pm.
“Am now scared of moving at night. Today I will be in my house before 7PM”, said Scovia Birungi a resident of Nyangahya village.
These attacks come two month after the Inspector General of Police directed a team of officers to investigate the same crime in Hoima, a neighboring district to Masindi. Iron bar men hit four people early January this year in Hoima town. One of the victims, Abdu Mbalire died while the rest were admitted at Hoima Regional Referral Hospital.
The iron bar hit men reportedly waylay the residents at night, hit them and in some instances rob them of their belongings. In some cases they clobber the victims without robbing them of their property.
Late last year, Hoima district security officials directed local leaders to register and issue identity cards to all residents in their area to curb insecurity. The local leaders were also asked to hand over to the Police new comers without valid travel documents. This came after the assistant inspector general of Police, Asan Kasingye, asked the district security committees to register residents following threats by the Somali Al-shabab insurgents.