Surging cases of armed robbery in Gulu City

Gulu – The leadership of boda boda cyclists’ associations in Gulu City are calling for an urgent intervention into the surging cases of armed robberies targeting their members.

A total of 10 motorcycles have been robbed by unknown gunmen within Gulu City and neighboring Omoro and Nwoya districts.

The stolen motorcycles include UFK 722Y, UFE 737 J, UFK 852 D, UFE 906 J, UFL 706 F, UFK 858G, UFJ 138 G, UFF 438 T, UFK 223 Y to mention but a few.

Francis Rubangakene, the Chairperson of Gulu East Boda-boda Cylists Association identified some of the victims of the armed robberies as; Innocent Opiyo whose wife was put on gun point and tasked to call him and upon arrival at his home in Aywee, he was hit by the burnet unconscious by the two-gun men.

The other victim identified as Ceaser Guna, a resident of Ongako who operates in Gulu City. He was attacked between Ongako primary school and the health center III by unknown men carrying iron bars and a gun before taking his motorcycle registration number UFF 438T. He is currently receiving treatment from St Mary`s Hospital Lacor, in Gulu City.

Rubangakene says, as leaders they have been called by the security leadership for meetings which has failed to address their insecurity concerns.

According to Rubangakene, cases of armed robberies have initially been reported last year but no serious intervention was carried out by gunmen.

“I want to appeal to the police and the UPDF to improve on their patrols within the City” Rubangakene notes.

Emmy Ocen, the Chairman Gulu West Boda boda cyclist’s Association said, seven of his members have been victims of the attack leaving three riders and one customer in critical condition at St Mary`s Hospital Lacor.

Ocen says, despite the fact that the riders are attacked at night, which is in violation of the 7 PM curfew, security officials need to do their work of ensuring that all Ugandans are safe.

“We understand that the president hasn’t allowed us to operate at night, but we feel the security officials not doing enough to protect Ugandans. Because how can you allow gunmen to move freely at night using motorcycles to attack us. We know the capacity of Ugandan government as far as security is concerned. Why aren’t they doing anything serious to ensure the unknown gunmen are known and brought to book?” Ocen asked.

David Ongom Mudong, the Aswa Region Police Spokesperson when tasked on investigations on the rampant gun related theft of motorcycles said, they arrested a prime suspect who is believed to be the mastermind behind the recent attack’s on cyclists.

“Following our investigations which led us to one, Denis Komakech, resident of Tegwana Parish, Layibi Central, Laroo-Pece Division where he has been hiding, we arrested him in the wee hours of Thursday today morning. We are currently hunting another suspect who’s name we are withholding for investigation purposes” said Mudong.

“During our operations in Tegwana, we recovered three pairs of UPDF army uniforms, a bunch of keys, car jerks, pips bearings the rank of a captain and other break in equipment. We will use these items as evidence against the suspect,” Mudong noted.

However, Asan Kasingye, the Political Commissar of the Uganda Police Force via his official Twitter handle wondered why the cyclists would be operating at night in violation of the presidential directives. He also noted that the matter is already under investigation.

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