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Masaka murders: Crime preventer charged for misleading police investigations

Vincent Muwonge is being detained at Ssaza prison facility.

Masaka, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Vincent Muwonge, a crime preventer in Masaka town is in trouble for misleading police in their investigations into the recent wave of murders in the greater Masaka sub-region. Muwonge is in custody at Ssaza prison facility in Masaka on charges of giving false information to police in their pursuit of notorious assailants that terrorized Masaka in the recent past.

On August 28, the suspect is said to have called Assistant Commissioner of Police-ACP Paul Nkore, the greater Masaka Regional Police Commander purporting to volunteer intelligence leading to the assailants. To prove his claims, Muwonge aided police in the arrest of Peter Ocheng and Francis Kayemba, who later confessed being part of the criminal gang that was executing murders in the area.

Sources within the police criminal investigation department in Masaka indicate that during interrogations, the duo made more confessions in which they named their accomplices in the murders, some of whom were also arrested.  However, it has now emerged that Muwonge deliberately cooked up the intelligence information, leading to his arrest for providing police false information.

The suspects have since applied for bail before the Masaka Grade One Magistrate Court to stand their trial while out of incarceration. They appeared before the Masaka Grade One Magistrate Author Ziraba on Tuesday. He deferred the ruling on the suspect’s bail application to September 17.

In the bail applications, Muwonge asks the court for lenience, arguing that he is the sole winner of his family. His accomplices claim that they were tortured during interrogations and sustained internal injuries for which they want to seek treatment.

However, the prosecution led by Caroline Opia, the Masaka Senior State Attorney moved the court to delay the release of the trio until their application papers and grounds are thoroughly examined.

A police officer who preferred not to be named told URN that Muwonge wanted to take advantage of the current insecurity in Masaka to find a way of obtaining money from the police administration in the guise of facilitating intelligence-gathering processes.

“He has been pretending to be operating with a network of civilian informers in the area and has been using such ploys for self-enrichment. It is likely that they were also targeting money in this syndicate,” the sources indicated.



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