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Police officers carry the body of a murdered woman from the scene of crime in Mpala, near Kampala early this year. Courtesy Photo.

2017: When Police Battled To End Gruesome Women Murders

At the peak of the murders in September, President Yoweri Museveni visited one of the crime scenes in Katabi town council to commiserate with the families and also assure residents of government’s resolve to end what he described as senseless murders.
posted onDecember 21, 2017
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By Fred Kiva

As 2017 nears the end, we take time to reflect on major crimes that characterized the year. The criminal acts might be many to elaborate now, however, what stands out most is the women murders in the Municipalities of Entebbe and Nansana, which left many including President Yoweri Museveni concerned.

The killings which were done in a similar way included; attacking young women in the middle of the night, sexually assaulting them, strangling them to death and inserting sticks in their private parts. Police records indicate that about 23 women were killed in similar circumstances between May and September.

At the peak of the murders in September, President Yoweri Museveni visited one of the crime scenes in Katabi town council to commiserate with the families and also assure residents of government’s resolve to end what he described as senseless murders.

Joint operations by the Police and the army were then scaled up in the affected areas, as security sought to bring to an end the most baffling murders of 2017, which threatened to rid the areas the female species. The joint security operations saw a number of suspects arrested. A report presented to Parliament by Internal Affairs Minister Gen. Jeje Odongo in September indicated that 44 suspects linked to these murders had been arrested and half of them had been charged in courts of law.

"In the case of Nansana, eight were victims of a gang of serial killers who sought to find blood and body parts to help them in their ritual practices," the VOA News quoted Gen. Jeje Odongo as telling Parliament. The Minister was further quoted as saying "In the case of Katabi also, it was a case of murders related to ritual practices."

He revealed that 18 of the killings were linked to witchcraft, while the other three women were killed as a result of domestic violence.

FBI Investigations

As the country waited for a police report on the women murders, the investigations took a new twist with the police revelation in November that they had been beefed up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States investigation agency to conclusively investigate the murders.

The police said the FBI operatives were to help them identify some of the bodies that were found in Nansana Municipality and the greater Entebbe in Wakiso District.

“Three FBI forensic experts are trying to establish whether the deceased were Ugandan nationals or not,” then Police Spokesperson Asan Kasingye told journalists.

The Police had been stuck with the bodies for months, two of whom were killed in Katabi town council in Entebbe and the other in Nansana Municipality between May and September.

Major Breakthrough

At the end of November, the Uganda Police appeared to have registered a major breakthrough in their efforts to identify the people behind the women killings, after months of hunting for these bloodthirsty killers.

This was after forensic evidence pinned two of the 13 suspects arrested in October and September.

Results of the analysis from the Directorate of Government Analytical Laboratory (DGAL) to compare semen samples picked from the victims to the DNA of two of the suspects indicated that eight of the samples picked from different crime scenes in Nansasa Municipality matched the DNA of Ibrahim Kaweesa a boda boda cyclist, while five of the samples picked in Katabi Town Council matched the DNA of William Ssenoga. 

Current Police Spokesperson Emillian Kayima says the crime is now under control, "of course it does not mean people will not die, but at least the rampant killings of women have been put under control,” Kayima said in an interview.

Kayima revealed that majority of the suspects were apprehended and they are still in court “we respect the court process and that’s justice.” He attributed the police success to joint effort between the security agencies, politicians and the community.

Recently, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kale Kayihura confirmed the Police breakthrough in tackling the rampant women killings. He thanked the team of detectives and other security agencies that have been investigating the killings.

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