Luwero, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A furious mob of residents has lynched a suspected cattle thief in Nakabiito village, Nakigoza Parish, Ziroobwe sub county, Luwero district.
The suspect has been identified as Geoffrey Muswedde, 28.
Ernest Ssekiziyivu, the Nakabiito village LC1 chairman says that a few days ago, one of his residents Ssali Alemanzani lost two of his cows to thieves.
He says that this theft was a sequel to earlier related thefts that saw at least 20 cows lost to the thieves. From all these thefts, residents produced a list of suspects with Geoffrey Muswedde included as one of the masterminds.
According to chairman Ssekiziyivu, during the raid on Alemanzani’s farm, one of the thieves left behind his shoes. It’s reported that it was Muswedde himself. After the theft, he is said to have been making phone calls saying he wanted to pick up his shoes. It’s against this background that he returned to the village to pick his property.
As a result, locals spread dragnets to catch him on arrival. When he returned, he was surrounded and without hesitation, he was chased, pounced on and he was beaten to death.
Speaking to Uganda Radio Network-URN, Paul Ssenabulya, the Nakigoza Parish Councilor recounts that cattle theft has been rampant in the area in the last couple of months.
He says their tentative findings show that the stolen cows are taken to Gayaza and Kalerwe markets. He says after the locals taking the law in their hands, police from Ziroobwe police station came and took the body for postmortem.
When contacted about this development, Isah Ssemwogerere, the Savannah Regional Police spokesperson told URN that the taking of the law in the hands by locals is condemnable.
According to Ssemwogerere, such an act can see an innocent person lose their life if prosecution, the rightful course of the law is not followed. He asks locals with information in connection to this incident to provide it, adding that he is still gathering details.
The battle against livestock theft in Greater Luwero region has for years now proved an uphill task. For instance, in January 2021, residents reported the theft of more than 50 cows from Butuntumula sub-county in Luwero district in a space of one month.
In mid-July last year, a furious mob in Nakaseke district lynched one of the suspected cattle thieves as they pursued six thugs. This was after a gang of seven suspected cattle thieves raided two homes at Lwetunga village in Kapeeka sub-county.
A day to the lynching, residents torched a vehicle that was being used by the thieves, which they had abandoned in the middle of the road as they tried to get away.
In August the same year, unidentified thugs stole three cows at gunpoint in the same district of Luwero. The attackers believed to have been more than four in number raided a farm belonging to Timothy Mugabi at Kabunyata village in Kamira sub-county at around 1am.
In November the same year, a man believed to be in his 20’s was lynched by an irate mob for allegedly stealing two goats and a sheep in Luwero district. The incident occurred in Kibiriizi Parish, Bamunanika sub-county.