Suspected Thug Gunned Down in Kikuube
Police in Kikuube have shot dead a suspected cattle thief who has been on the police wanted list for a long time. The suspect, Andrew Ouma, aged 34 and a resident of Ibambiro village, Katanga parish in Bugambe sub-county, was reportedly shot dead on Sunday morning around 11 am.
According to reports, police received intelligence that the deceased, who had been on the police's wanted list for alleged cattle theft for a long time was hiding in one of the houses belonging to an accomplice, only identified as Banaba, in the the neighboring village of Kaziniro.
Police, led by Alex Otim, the officer in charge of Bugambe police station mobilized and raided Banaba's home, where they arrested him and then located Ouma hiding inside. Ouma allegedly attempted to hack police officers with a panga as they tried to arrest him.
Despite warnings to drop the weapon, Ouma charged at the officers, who then fired several bullets in the air to scare him. However, he continued to advance toward the officers, and they eventually shot him in the chest, killing him instantly. During the scuffle, his accomplice, who had been arrested and handcuffed, escaped.
Julius Hakiza, the Albertine region police spokesperson, explained that the deceased and many others who are still at large have been terrorizing area residents, especially cattle farmers, by stealing their animals. He said that the suspect had been on the police's wanted list for many years.
John Bagonza, a resident of Bugambe sub-county, urged the police to intensify patrols to ensure that the remaining suspects are apprehended or eliminated from the area. Amlan Tumusiime, the Kikuube Resident District Commissioner, stated that they have already petitioned the Inspector General of Police to deploy the Anti-Stock Theft Unit officers in the area to help fight the crime.
The shooting of the suspect comes at a time when police in Hoima have four suspects, including a retired lieutenant from the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF), in custody on charges of cattle theft. The suspects are Wycliffe Kyamanywa, aged 38, the retired UPDF Lieutenant and a resident of Nankulabye village in Kitoba sub-county in Hoima; Hamdan Ayesiga, aged 26, a resident of Buseruka sub-county; Bosco Byabasaija, aged 39, a resident of Bukerenge village in Kitoba sub-county; and Aramazani Mugisa, aged 64, also from Bukerenge village in Kitiba sub-county.
They were arrested on Friday night during an operation conducted by the police under the leadership of the Hoima District Police Commander, Jackson Bogere, in response to numerous public complaints about rampant cattle theft in the district.
Since September 2022, cattle farmers in Kikuube district have complained about the surging cases of cattle thefts that have rocked the area, with farmers in Bugambe, Kyangwali, Buhimba town, and Kabwoya sub-counties being the most affected. According to the residents, more than 100 cows have been stolen by thieves who raid their kraals at night.
The cattle thieves are believed to be colluding with their counterparts in the districts of Gulu, Lira, Masaka, Sembabule, Apac, and Kyankwanzi, where the stolen animals are reportedly taken and sold.