The hunt for key suspects in the recent Bukomansimbi murders and robberies, who fled court two weeks ago, hangs in the balance.
Muhammad Kiddawalime and Musa Galiwango, the prime suspects in the mass crimes that paralysed the greater Masaka sub-region on March 1 escaped from the dock, jumped over the a Masaka Chief Magistrates Court high wall, evading security-before and disapeared towards Namajuzi Forest in Masaka District
The suspects are accused of murder, terrorism, robberies and attempted murder committed in the region for the past two years.
The prison warders had brought the suspects together with other accomplices for mention of their charges before the court, in an afternoon session presided over by Mr Samuel Munobe.
The greater Masaka deputy regional police commander, Mr Lameck Kigozi, told Daily Monitor at the weekend that despite the delay to apprehend the absconders, there is hope that they will be captured anytime.
“They are now known to the public and their pictures have been circulated across the country,” Mr Kigozi said.
He explained that the ongoing joint security operation has been expanded beyond the Masaka Sub-region
Besides the Shs10m bounty police offered to whoever provides information leading to the arrest of each of the suspects, Mr Kigozi said they have preferred to keep other details of the ongoing operation out of public for fear of jeopardising their investigations.
Meanwhile, there are also reports of covert security deployments in the different parts of the region, especially at night, which according to police are intended to eliminate all forms criminality.
Notably, upon their arrest in January, the suspects confessed to committing the crimes and accordingly recorded extra judicial statements in which they are said to have pinned some security officers attached to the Police Flying Squad to be indirect beneficiaries of their robberies.
But residents and those in security allege that it was a planned escape that intended to eliminate incriminating evidence against the implicated officers. Out of public speculation, there are some leads pointing to a possible escape into the neighbouring countries of either Tanzania or Democratic Republic of Congo, through the respective porous border points.
On New Year’s Day, unknown assailants descended on four villages in the districts of Bukomansimbi and Lwengo and killed five residents, leaving 11 others injured.
Four people, including a retired senior police officer, Denis Ssebugwawo, were killed in the villages of Kisojjo, Kyabagoma and Kyamabale – all in Bukomansimbi and Kisaaka in Lwengo.
There have been a series of night attacks in greater Masaka that started two years ago.
The actual intention of attackers has remained unclear both within the community and security cycles.