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Crime intelligence net criminal gang leader at musical concert

Police spokesman Enanga

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | For six months, crime intelligence and flying squad have been hunting for Daren Kabuye, a man suspected to be the ringleader of the Kigaali gang that clobbered Kyebando’s Internal Security Officer (GISO) Ben Kasule as he responded to a robbery alarm.

The GISO was attacked on March 20, 2022 at Akamwesi mall at around 10pm after someone screamed that his phone had been snatched. Security suspect it was a trap set by Kabuye’s gang because they knew that Kasule was always fast at responding to criminal-related events.

About 10 people including teenagers encircled Kasule as he attempted to help a person who was crying that his phone had been snatched. Within seconds, Kasule had been beaten to pulp and his attackers fled the scene leaving him for dead.

Luckily, Kasule was rushed to hospital and he has been gradually recovering. Following this incident, police violent crime units launched a manhunt for Kabuye and his gang members. From the time Kasule was attacked, the Kigaali group ‘advanced’ from evening and early morning attacks to broad day robberies in areas of Kawempe, Bwaise, Kyebando, Nsambya, Jinja junction, and Entebbe road.

In July and August, police noticed that Kigaali and its counterparts Dog Tulumbe had increased their attacks on revelers going or coming from entertainment places majorly in Kabalagala, Kansanga, Nsambya and Entebbe road. Katwe and Kabalagala police teamed up and conducted operations that led to the arrest of over 20 suspects including the four suspected sub-group leaders.

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga identified the quartet that was believed to be some of the top commanders as Richard Atuhaire, Shukula Kabengana, Richard Tumwesigye and John Ahimbisibwe. These were also found with an empty pistol which they would use to threaten people during robberies.

However, the hunt for Kabuye stayed on since operations that spread to Jinja road and hideouts around the railway line did not capture him. Since intelligence had been received that night revelers had become a key target for the groups, crime intelligence was clandestinely deployed at Cricket Oval during the concert of the local musician Winnie Nakanwagi popularly known as Winnie Nwagi where the boys linked to Kigaali were caught red-handed snatching valuables from revelers mostly as they went back after the concert.

Other teenagers of Kigaali were apprehended during the music concert of Shafiq Walukagga alias Fik Fameica at Hotel Africana. But still in these two concerts that attracted hundreds of merrymakers, Kabuye was not seen. His fate came last week during David Lutalo’s concert still at Hotel Africana. It is believed that Kabuye arrived as early 8pm and he was surveilled as he allegedly gave instructions to his gang members.

Plain clothed operatives surrounded Kabuye without his knowledge and they started picking his suspected members who were as usual trying to do their job. Kabuye was trailed and successfully arrested last Friday after Lutalo’s music show.

Enanga has said Kampala metropolitan police station have several cases of robbery, phone and wallet snatching by Kigaali group. “They terrorize fans, revelers and well-wishers during music concerts and major events, and rob them of their valuable items like phones, wallets, purses and handbags,” Enanga said.

Crime intelligence and flying squad have established that Kabuye has been interchanging names as is a character of criminals. He would sometimes refer to himself as Henry Mukasa. The group is also linked to the mugging of two workers of Fruitshop Uganda whom they robbed of laptops, an iPhone and bags all valued over four million shillings on the 20th of this month.

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