Residents of Gulu say that a number of them have fallen victim to antics of gangs that waylay them around Cemetery Road, Tank Road, School Road and Commercial Road in Pece Division as well as Alolokolum Road around the industrial area in Layibi Division. They are mainly looking out for people who are caught outside their homes at the time of the curfew.
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A group of armed youths
masquerading as Local Defence Unit personnel are taking advantage of curfew to brutalize
residents of Gulu Municipality in Northern Uganda.
The curfew was declared by President
Yoweri Museveni almost a week ago, as a measure to control the movement of people,
at a time the country is battling to prevent the spread of Coronavirus
Disease-COVID-19. It runs from 7 p.m. to
6; 30 a.m.
But residents of Gulu say that a
number of them have fallen victim to antics of gangs that waylay them around Cemetery
Road, Tank Road, School Road and Commercial Road in Pece Division as well as
Alolokolum Road around the industrial area in Layibi Division. They are mainly
looking out for people who are caught outside their homes at the time of the
Charles Okumu, a resident of Pece
Division who was brutalized by the impostors along Cemetery Road says that the
group masquerades in plain cloth and takes advantage of the rush-hour to loot
valuables from unsuspecting targets.
//Cue in; “For us we…
Cue out…to one another.’’//
Eric Odong, a resident of Layibi Division who escaped such an attack said he
witnessed acts being perpetrated by disgruntled youths, whose source of
livelihood was disrupted by government measures to control COVID-19.
//Cue in; “From yesterday…
Cue out…far reaching impact.’’//
Thomas Okot, a concerned resident
and Chairperson of Northern Uganda Bodaboda Association blames the confusion on
security forces that have been infiltrated by crooks and implement directives contrary
to the directives of the President.
//Cue in; “Our President is…
Cue out…and beaten seriously.’’//
Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson Patrick Jimmy Okema contested enlisting
the services of plain-clothed security personnel apart from Police, LDUs and Uganda
Peoples Defence Forces-UPDF soldiers urging the public to make formal
complaints when such incidents occur.
The UPDF Spokesperson Brig. Richard Karemire on Friday issued a statement
rallying the public to be alert and report cases of security personnel breaking
into people’s homes to loot valuables under the guise of enforcing the curfew.
The 14-day lockdown and curfew
was declared from April 1 by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to
curtail the rapid spread of the deadly pandemic Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the
country. However, several criminals have taken advantage of the shutdown to
commit crimes such as house break-in; theft and burglary among others.
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and latr Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.