Kampala — At least 16 of 50 suspected murder cases investigated by police in Kampala Metropolitan area in the last six months are connected to property wrangles, records indicated.
The contested properties include land, money and vehicles.
Statistics from the 18 police divisions that constitute Kampala Metropolitan area show that 11 out of 16 murder victims are men, three children and two women.
The men's fate is orchestrated by their immediate relatives or business partners.
Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire in a recent interview said he could not commit self on the actual figure of the murders.
"Those figures could be below or more. What I can tell you, however, is that people are being killed or injured as a result of property," he said.
The records attribute the murders to fraudulent transactions, women suspecting husbands of sharing wealth with other women and relatives plotting to grab siblings or parents' land and other properties.
Citing an example of a former Monitor Publications Ltd employee, Abel Katende, who was killed and buried in a pit latrine in a crime that was allegedly masterminded by his wife and children, Mr Owoyesigyire said land is a major cause of murder because of the value attached to it.
"Some people do not seek legal redress when they have property disputes but choose to carry the law into their hands. Killing a person over land or other property is not a solution," he said.
In Katende's case, police arrested five people, including his wife and two daughters, who have since been charged and remanded.
The murders have not spared children either. Taibu Ssemakula, 18, was recently remanded by Wakiso Chief Magistrate's Court over the kidnap and murder of his two siblings.
Evidence cited by investigators showed that Semakula's motive stemmed from the fact that his step father had jailed him for stealing his sowing machines and he allegedly revenged by kidnapping and killing his step father's children; Israel Namalengo and Dorcus Nakiwunga.
The duo was strangled and their bodies dumped in a swamp in Naluvule, Wakiso District. Months earlier, unknown thugs waylaid Collins Kaija, a resident of Kulambiro in Nakawa Division and suffocated his 11-month-old baby to death.
The act, which was said to have been provoked by property wrangles, was executed by two men disguised as visitors.
For cases involving women, the most reported on was that of Elizabeth Nakato, who was allegedly abducted, killed and raped by her own brother in a bid to retain her three plots of land in Wakiso and Mukono.
In another case, Mr Owoyesigyire said Aramazan Kibirige, Saaka Kafeero and Wycliffe Mugume were abducted and killed by people suspected to be close relatives to take their money.
"We have realised many people are trusting friends and relatives with huge amounts of money," he said.