Kampala, Uganda | URN | Leaders of various Boda Boda stages have accused Uganda Police Force personnel attached to Police Posts in Kampala City of working with robbers operating on motorcycles. The accusations were made in an open meeting between Police officials and Boda Boda leaders.
This follows several incidents where different gangs have been captured on security cameras intercepting their victims and robbing them of money and property. The recent incident happened around Corner house along Mawanda road where a gang of men riding on motorcycles intercepted Jiwan Lal, an Indian national and robbed him of Shillings 5 million.
Kevin Ssendegeya, the chairman Security Boda Boda Stage at Total corner, says that there is a group known as Nato, which they reported to the police but nothing was done. Ssendegeya alleges that policemen instead revealed their names to the criminals.
Yasin Mubangizi, the chairman Boda Boda stage at Shoprite near Clock Tower, says that whenever they report suspected criminals masquerading as Boda Boda riders to police, the officers tell them that they don’t have control over them.
Police together with sister security agencies have already arrested some of the thugs who were involved in the attack on Jiwan, an accountant with Rigil Agro Peck Limited in Kololo. Police also arrested members of another gang that used motorcycles to stage a robbery in Mityana district.
Police said some of the criminals came from the Boda boda stage at Cooper Complex and they connived with Dennis Kyeptoyek, the commander of Nyanzi police station who was also apprehended.
The gang members were identified as Boda Boda riders from Cooper Complex in Kampala was recruited into robbery by Moses Serunkuma, a truck driver. They were identified as Raphael Semaganda, Peter Mukalazi, Yoweri Kironde, Ibra Kyoita, Topher and Andrew.
Richard Sonko, the Defense Secretary at Care Corner Boda Boda stage, says that they know the thieves and robbers masquerading as Boda-Boda riders. Sonko says that whenever they report them, police releases them immediately.
Those arrested and charged in connection to the Mawanda robbery include Asibu Takuba alias Stephen, Jimmy Sserwada, Gadafi Kasibante, Jonah Ssemanda, Richard Mulema, Sharif Akidi, Aloysius Ssewakilyanga, Latif Mawejje, Salim Babu, Farouk Ssekaganda alias Sharif, and one Swaibu.
Faroq Mwiru, the defence secretary at Ben-Kiwanuka Boda-Boda stage, said there is need to provide reflectors jackets with the names of every rider and stage he is attached to. Mwiru said some riders hide their names and get known by their nicknames.
Assistant Superintendent of Police –ASP Luke Owoyesigyire, the deputy Kampala police spokesperson, said the problem with Boda Boda stage leaders they don’t name the police officers who allegedly work with criminals.
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“We held a good meeting with the Boda boda leaders early this week. None of the leaders came up with such allegations during our meeting. However, if there is anyone with such information they should bring them forward at KMP,” Owoyesigyire said.
Mudasiru Irumba, the chairman of Mega Standard Boda-Boda stage where the NATO gang often stages, said the problem was with Boda Boda 2010 that was terrorizing them to make money even when one had an identity card.
Hamidu Kalungi, the chairman of Royal Complex Boda Boda stage at Button Street, said the criminal gangs don’t stage at a specific location. Kalungi thinks emphasis should be put on sensitizing the public to only use Boda Boda riders from recognized stages.
Incidents of motorcycle robbery gangs have been recorded by CCTVs at Jinja Road traffic lights, Mawanda Road, Old Kampala and Nateete. So far 18 suspects have been charged and remanded over the criminal activities.