By David Omoding
At least 8 cases of mob justice against suspected thieves have been recorded this month alone in Kibuku and Butebo districts.
This wave which has raised concern seems to have caught security unaware and ill equipped to subdue.
Mob justice, as it’s emphatically said is the practice whereby a mob, usually several dozens of angry persons take the law into their hands in order to injure and kill a person accused of wrongdoing.
Cases so far reported,
On Tuesday 25th may 2021, two people suspected to have stolen chicken and ducks were lynched in the morning.
One who was caught with two chickens was stoned to death at Kalampete Village Tirinyi Sub County, another who had stolen a duck was also clobbered to death at Saala trading center in Kibuku District on Tirinyi –Mbale Highway.
On the eve of Iddi celebrations, one person was killed by angry residents for allegedly stealing 3 heads of cattle belonging to one Yafesi Kagweri of Goli Goli village Goli Goli Sub County before hiding them in a taxi registration number UBG 023 E.
Some of those killed include Julius Kamomolo 33 of Saala, Nameyi Faustino 23 of Nawondo, Mosingi Dauson of Kagumu, Andrew Onongo, Patrick Lyomoki and others yet to be identified.
The Bukedi North Regional Police Commander, Alfred Bagambaki condemned the vice saying such acts are barbaric in nature and are perpetrated by uncivilized individuals.
He called the newly elected local to join hands in combating the crime.
“The vigilantes clearly have no respect for the rule of law. People declare someone culprit and then they become judges and executioners all in one,” he says.
‘’This action is itself a crime that should be condemned and people should know this because victims are not given any opportunity to defend themselves, and even if they were caught red-handed, the punishment meted out on them is not commensurate to the alleged crime committed,” Mr. Bagambaki said.
“You find chicken and duck thieves in the villages being violently cut into pieces with machetes or stoned to death, this is unacceptable in a country like Uganda where laws are clear.”
He says the perpetrators of mob justice are shortsighted and police has started carrying out investigations that will lead to the arrest and prosecution of the culprits.
The RPC revealed that the police political commissar will camp in the region starting this Thursday with massive sensitization of local leaders in all the Bukedi North Districts of Pallisa, Kibuku, Budaka and Butebo.
RDC Kibuku Kikomemo Mwanamoiza attributed the upsurge of the mob justice to absence of the Magistrate at The Kibuku Grade One Magistrate’s Court.
‘’People are now disgusted with the justice system because whenever the thief is arrested taken to court he/she is given the bail out, but nonetheless we shall continue to sensitize them to stop taking the law into their hands’’ the RDC said.
The RDC further stressed that there’s need to ban the use of canine in the district saying most people now take it as final judge to pin the suspects.