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Kampala, Uganda | RONALD MUSOKE | Late evening on July 23, two men were riding home on a bicycle when they were ambushed and attacked by machete-wielding assailants. John Kabanda and Vincent Kalya were both hit on the head and left to die at Taaga village in Nkoni, Lwengo District in central western Uganda. It turns out the two were the first victims of the latest round of what have come to be known as the “kijambiya (machete)” murders of Masaka.
Although many thought this was an isolated murder, soon residents in Lwengo District and the surrounding districts of what is known as Greater Masaka were engulfed in fear as more murders, committed in similar fashion, were recorded every night.
On July 31, Joseph Nkanka, 51, and Godfrey Kaweesi, 30, of Nakalete village, Kisekka, Lwengo District were attacked at around 8pm. The assailants hacked them and left them unconscious. They died in Masaka Referral Hospital.
On Aug.02, Joseph Bwanika, was attacked at Kisekka “B” village in Kankamba, Lwengo District and killed. On Aug.04, Ddumba Joseph Lutakome, 59, of Katoma village, Lwengo District was attacked and hit with a blunt object. He died instantly.
On Aug.12, Lubega Aramanzan was discovered dead at Malonge village, Katovu, Lwengo with multiple cuts to the head. On Aug.15, Kayemba Sowedi, 29, a businessman was waylaid and hacked to death at Mpumudde village, Byakabirizi, Kyazanga in Lwengo District.
On Aug.16, Ibrahim Ssebwana, 50, was attacked by assailants at Byanjiri village, Kito Parish, Lwengo District and hacked to death. In the same night, Galiwango Paul, 60, of Byanjiri village and another only identified as, Monday, 30, of Nasiti, Ndagwe were also killed.
On Aug.22, Mbaziira Richard, 60, the Deputy Catechist at Kiggo, Kyambogo village, Nkoni Parish, Lwengo District was killed. On Aug.27, Nantale Joyce, 70, was attacked at Bwasa village, Kasana Parish, Kkingo sub-county. Birungi Barbara, 6, Nantale’s granddaughter was also hacked. The two victims died from Masaka Regional Referral Hospital. On the same day, Aug.27, Fred Bukenya’s home in Nabyewanga village, Nkoni, Lwengo was attacked and his house set on fire but no one in the family died.
On Aug.28, Kirembwe Henry, 81, was attacked and hit on the head using a blunt object. He died instantly. On Aug.29, Lusiina Vincent, 70, of Mpumudde, Lyakibiizi Parish, Lwengo District was attacked while at his home alone. He was hit on the head and died instantly.
In the nearby Masaka District, a killing spree was happening almost concurrently. Mukasa Idrisa, 90, of Kikungwe “A” village, Butale was attacked on Aug.22 and hit on the head with a blunt object. He too died on the spot.
On Aug.23, Mugerwa Francis, 58, of Ssetala village, Senya ward, Kabonera Division, Masaka city was attacked at his home. He was hit on the head and killed. On the same day, Kakooza Sulaiman, 54, from Senya village, Senya ward, Kabonera Division, Masaka was also killed from his home.
On Aug.25, Nampijja Muhangaza, 75, from Kasaali village, Bisanje, Kabonera Division, Masaka, was found at her home preparing supper. She too died after being attacked by the machete men. On the same day, Yeye Peter, 30, a casual labourer from Bisanje village, Kimanya, Kabonera Division, Masaka, was hit on the head and killed instantly.
On Aug.26, Mulindwa Meddi, 45, was attacked in Kisaka village, Kiteredde ward, Kabonera Division, in Masaka. He was cut on the head and he died instantly. On Aug.29, Nakato Maria, 80, from Kitenga “A” LCI, Kalagala Parish, Nyendo, Mukungwe Division, was attacked in her house and died from her injuries.