Patrick Mbabazi, an officer in the Lwengo district police Criminal Investigations Department-CID is on spot for presenting fake relatives of machete victims to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
Early this month, President Museveni condoled with the families who lost their loved ones to Bijambiya gangs that terrorised residents of Greater Masaka region.
“I invited you here (State House Entebbe) to condole with you. We shall get these criminals. Some suspects have been arrested because they left all sorts of clues that we are following,” the President said. He made a contribution of Shs 10 million to each of the 25 families that were affected.
Machete-wielding criminals, also known as Bijambiya, in the months of July and August terrorized villages, killing people with impunity in Masaka and Lwengo districts. Some of the victims were pregnant, others breastfeeding mothers while others had small children left in their care.
However, according to Uganda Radio Network (URN), a local news outlet, some of the beneficiaries were not relatives to the machete victims and that unscrupulous individuals including security officers that coordinated the movement of the beneficiaries shared the money.
URN says three relatives of Francis Ruhamyakaaka, one of the those murdered at Nakateeta village, Kisekka sub-county in Lwengo district have formally complained to Lwengo Resident District Commissioner over their condolence fees that went into the wrong hands.
Led by George Mbonimpa, a cousin to the deceased, they accuse Mbabazi of deliberately conniving with other people to present a fake person as their family representative.
According to him, the real relatives of Ruhamyakaaka were swapped with Fred Ssentongo, who was just a friend. He reportedly received the money, which he shared with security officers.
Mbonimpa explains that he and the deceased came to Lwengo as casual labourers from Kisoro district. He revealed that when the murder happened, he moved to their home district to notify their family, which gave advantage to unscrupulous individuals to falsely receive the money and share it.
Mbonimpa says that he reported the matter to the local police station, which kept tossing him, prompting them to run to higher offices.
To prove his claims, Mbonimpa and two other relatives on Wednesday presented introductory letters from their local leaders and security in Kisoro district to Lwengo RDC, Herman Ssentongo confirming the particulars of the deceased person and his relatives.
Ssentongo has instructed Peter Twala, the Lwengo District Police Commander to arrest all the people mentioned in the fraud and to record statements in relation to the allegations.
He says that security is also going to carry out verification on all people that received the money to ensure that it went to the right people.
Ibrahim Kitatta, the Lwengo district LC V Chairperson indicates that he is in contact with higher police authorities to help mobilize support required to enable relatives to exhume the body and take it for a decent burial.
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