The situation in Masaka is improving, according to UPDF Spokesperson Brig Gen Flavia Byekwaso, and the army is optimistic that security will be restored.
According to Byekwaso, security forces have been able to improve coordination, limiting the ability of machete welding gangs to succeed in their goals.
While appearing on NBS Frontline, Byekwaso made these remarks.
“In Masaka, things are getting better. I can confidently state that the situation is improving, that the forces are working together well, and that the public is being vigilant,” Byekwaso said.
Machete welding gangs have been wreaking havoc in Masaka for more than a month, killing more than 30 people.
However, Byekwaso stated that security has been unable to determine the killers’ motive, claiming that their strategy is inconsistent.
“The strategy has shifted. They were also murdering women at the time. The elderly are now the focus. You have to wonder why they want to kill the elderly,” said Byekwaso.
“The killings and motives are inconsistent,” he adds.
She speculated, however, that the gangs may have targeted Masaka because it is a predominantly opposition-controlled area where “whatever happens there draws attention.”
Mathias Mpuuga, the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament and the MP for Nyendo – Mukungwe, however, claimed that security has been slow to respond to the Masaka issues because the community has been pleading with them for weeks with little or no response.
Mathias Mpuuga is a member of Parliament from Uganda.
“In Masaka City, we had a problem with strangers. There was no response from security. We don’t know what role they played or where they went. Masaka residents have a long list of suspects at the moment, according to Mpuuga.
Mpuuga believes the only way to calm Masaka residents’ nerves is for the government to persuade them that the killings are under control.
Mpuuga stated, “The government needs to assure the people that they are on top of this and that they are able to arrest and prosecute these people.”
After screening 68 arrested individuals on Monday, the joint security teams investigating the murders in greater Masaka named 15 prime suspects.
The suspects confessed to the crime and informed security that they are members of a larger criminal gang, according to police spokesperson Fred Enanga.