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City protests: CMI, flying squad join hunt for suspected ring leaders

CCTV footage released by police showing protest orchestrators. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence-CMI and Flying Squad Unit have joined the hunt for individuals who allegedly sponsored, organized and participated in last week’s protests.

A senior policeman at Kampala Metropolitan police headquarters at Kampala Central Police Station intimated to Uganda Radio Network that security units commanders resolved that CMI, FSU should be part and partial of the team hunting for more than 300 alleged orchestrators of violent protests.

The decision to task CMI and FSU to join police crime intelligence was reportedly reached in a meeting that involved Kampala security units’ commanders among others Col. Keith Katungi, Moses Kafeero and Maj Gen. Samuel Kawagga.

The police source said CMI, Crime Intelligence and FSU have already arrested more 67 people on allegations of organizing and sponsoring protests that left 50 people killed and 100 others injured.

“It is now CMI, crime intelligence and Flying Squad doing the job of tracking and arresting all those captured on cameras driving vehicles that supplied tyres to protesters while some traders were captured giving rudimentary weapons to protesters,” a senior policeman said.

The new 67 suspects join 836 others who had been rounded up in various parts of the country even though the majority were picked in Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono districts.

Efforts to speak to Fred Enanga, who is the police force spokesperson were futile as he did not pick our calls nor did he respond to our texts. Patrick Onyango, who speaks for Kampala police said he had no idea about the new developments.

However, the senior police source said some of the traders in whose shops protesters picked weapons such as hammers and knives have since been picked by police and military spy agencies.

“Traders and vendors are voluntarily sharing information of people whom they saw sponsoring these protesters. Some have given us videos of their colleagues who came with tyres in their cars and gave them to protesters. Even those that had opted to hide have been revealed to us by their fellow traders and vendors,” the police source said.

Enanga at the weekend said a joint security team would continue to pursue investigative leads and also monitor online hate speech related to the violent demonstrations. Enanga who was accompanied by UPDF deputy spokesperson, Lt Col Deo Akiiki said preliminary investigations indicated that the protests were not abrupt but were well planned.

“It’s clear that the organized attacks were aided by social media to sow discord of hatred in society and further instigated by the ring leaders, which fitted the pattern that some of the NUP leaders and supporters want chaos. They were burning tyres, setting illegal roadblocks, using molotov cocktails (petrol bombs), nailed tyre cutters,” Enanga said.

Flying Squad’s major task is to nab all those that used the protest to loot from passengers in taxis, on boda-bodas and pedestrians. Security agencies added that some thugs used the protests as an opportunity for looting motorists across the suburbs of Kampala, smashing windows and stealing items from cars and shops.

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