March 2, 2024

20 arrested over stealing Northern bypass furniture

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Police and the army have apprehended 20 suspected vandals accused of damaging road furniture along the Northern bypass.

The operation involved deploying covert personnel, later reinforced by uniformed police officers and soldiers in the Masanafu and Busega areas, where the highest incidents of vandalism have been recorded. Road guards, security camera poles, and signposts are the most affected furniture. 

The operation commenced with the apprehension of Umar Kitimbo, who, not only confessed to participating in road furniture vandalism but also cooperated with investigators by leading them to his accomplices. Kitimbo implicated Jonan Abigaba, an employee of Katooke Metal Scrap, stating, “We sell whatever we vandalize to these people. Some of our colleagues are Lubigi, and Abigaba knows them.” 

Subsequently, the joint efforts of the police and military led to the apprehension of several suspects, including Obedi, Eric Sanyu, John Obama, Junior Ainembazi, Bashir Kalangi, Wilson Muhumuza, and Rashid Mpugu

Luke Owoyesigyire, deputy Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson identified additional suspects as Edward Byabashaija, Paddy Ssebunya, Monday Mukasa, Erasto Kagada, Shaban Mugarsi, Emmanuel Sande, Arinaitwe Muwamadani, and Evelyn Mujuni.  

“We shall continue to investigate and carry out operations on incidents of damaging and vandalizing road furniture, security rights, and signals. This was after we registered incidents of vandalism on the Northern bypass where metals used for road guards have been vandalized,” Owoyesigyire said. 

Earlier, Allen Kagina, executive director of the Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra), expressed concern over the substantial costs incurred in restoring vandalized and damaged road furniture along the Northern bypass. 

She urged drivers and residents living along the Northern bypass to actively participate in protecting the road furniture, emphasizing their installation for proper road use and prevention of accidents. Owoyesigyire stated that the arrested suspects face charges related to damaging public property.

Additionally, it was noted that Kisenyi is a known centre where vandalized road furniture, electric wires, and angle bars are sold as scrap. The collaborative efforts aim to curb such incidents and maintain public infrastructure integrity.

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