By Johnbosco Tugume
43 suspects have been rounded up in Hoima district after attacking police during an operation, killing a police constable and injuring the other.
Residents of Kyabisagazi village in Kigorobya Sub county; armed with machetes, bows and arrows on Tuesday night attacked police personnel during an operation, disarmed one Constable Vincent Rutalemwa and hacked him to death. The irate residents also shot ASP George Emoti the Hoima District Field Force Unit Commander with an arrow, injuring him in the leg. He is now admitted at Hoima Regional Referral Hospital.
Albertine Regional Police Spokesperson Julius Hakiza says police had gone to the area following reports that a group of residents had declared an independent state and renamed the village “Pele”
“The group had declared Pele Republic, within Uganda, appointed a President and Ministers and couldn’t allow authorities to question their activities. As security we couldn’t allow this so we swung into action,” Hakiza told Kampala Post on Wednesday evening. It’s not clear how the “Pele Republic” idea came about however, security clues point to Congolese who illegally entered Uganda as being behind the move.
“We have so far arrested 43 suspects and a number of Congolese are being screened by immigration to see how they entered Uganda,” Hakiza said without giving particulars of the suspects.
Meanwhile police have recovered the SMG riffle that was grabbed from the dead police officer abandoned in the bush. Several other killer weapons including; Pangas, bows and arrows plus spears have been confiscated from the suspects as the army and police take control of the Lake Albert shore area.
Although reports of “Pele Republic” point to subversion and compromise of Uganda’s sovereignty, Hakiza said Police have preferred holding charges of murder, attempted murder and being in possession of dangerous weapons against the suspects as investigations continue.
Kigorobya Sub County borders Democratic Republic of Congo’s restive Eastern region and is inhabited by a number of Congolese, many of them believed to have crossed illegally.