MITYANA, UGANDA: Passengers (about 60 in number) aboard a Kampala-bound Link Bus were on Friday left in shock after an abrupt robbery attack by gunmen along the Kampala-Mityana highway.
The aggravated robbery incident happened in the wee hours of Friday morning after the yet-to-identified armed robbers attacked the bus and robbed passengers of all their property, including phones and unspecified amounts of money while those that resisted were mercilessly beaten.
Preliminary police investigations indicate that the bus of registration number UBG 423G had a total of 65 passengers on board and had left Bundibugyo on Thursday evening at 7 pm en route to Kampala when the attack happened.
According to Wamala Regional police Spokesperson, Ms. Racheal Kawala, about 10 robbers allegedly armed with guns and hammers intercepted the bus at Bamujugu swamp bordering Mityana and Kassanda districts and ordered the passengers to move out of the bus and lie down on the road along Mityana_ Kampala highway.
“At the illegal roadblock, the passengers were reportedly ordered out of the bus, asked to lie on the ground before their property- phones, money, among others, were taken from them. Those who were hesitant to hand over their property to the suspected robbers were allegedly beaten,” Ms Kawala said.
She added that after collecting their stake, the robbers then ordered the passengers to board back the bus and took off with the stolen valuables and by the time police responded to the crime scene, the suspects had already vanished.
“The robbers then ordered the passengers to board back the bus. We were informed and rushed to the scene of the crime. However, the suspects had fled the scene. Efforts are underway to have guns recovered and the suspects arrested and brought to book,” she noted.
Kawala meanwhile urged citizens to always remain vigilant and alert for such incidents and called on anyone with information that can lead to the suspects to get in touch with the nearby police.
“We remain committed to protecting all Ugandans and ensuring their safety. Anyone with information that can lead us to the arrest of the suspects may contact us on 0714667834 or report to any nearby police.”
The attack comes barely two days after another Link company bus caught fire at Wakaliga traffic lights in Natete, Kampala.
Three weeks ago, the Ministry of Works and Transport suspended the operations of the bus company after one of its buses was involved in an accident in Fort Portal killing 23 people.
In April this year, the Police Flying Squad Unit arrested six suspected masterminds of highway robberies along the Kampala-Mityana road. According to the police, the suspects were conducted robberies from December 2021 to April targeting people transporting produce from Mityana, Mubende, Kassanda and Butambala districts.
It is alleged that the gang members were masquerading either as police or army officers on the lawful duty to their unsuspecting victims.
In one of the robberies, on January 23, 2022, at Bamunanika village along Mubende- Kampala highway, the thugs dressed in army uniforms and armed with toy guns, machetes and hammers mounted a fake roadblock and robbed occupants of a Fuso truck registration number UBG 709G that was loaded with 80 bags of maize.
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