Uganda: Gang of Youth Stage Road Block, Rob Travellers

Kitgum — Police are detaining a group of youth who staged a roadblock near Orom Trading centre, in Kitgum District and robbed travellers.

Information Daily Monitor obtained indicates that the youth who had batons, machetes, and catapults, staged the roadblock on Saturday night.

Most victims were mourners who were returning from the funeral of Elevania Akere, the mother of Maj Santos Okot Lapolo, the Gulu District Resident District Commissioner (RDC).

One of the victims only identified as Mr Otim said the youth stopped all vehicles and ordered passenger to surrender money and other valuables.

"They were too arrogant and threatened to beat anyone who resisted. They confiscated mobile phones and money and other valuables," Mr Otim said.

The Aswa Region Police Spokesman, Mr Patrick Jimmy Okema was one of the victims.

He said when the car in which he was travelling was intercepted, he alerted police who immediately responded.

He said seven members of the gang were arrested and taken to Kitgum Central Police Station.

According to him, other suspects fled.

Mr Moses Bwire, Kitgum District Police Commander told Daily Monitor that the youth are still being detained at Kitgum Central Police Station pending investigations.

"We are investigating why they staged an illegal roadblock," he said.

However, Mr William Komakech, the Kitgum RDC rubbished claims that the youth were robbers.

According to him, the youth had been searching for a vehicle that was allegedly moving in the area and distributing red berets, caps and t-shirts on behalf of People Power Movement. People Power Movement is led by Kyaddondo East Member of Parliament, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine .

"These are not thugs and are not bad people, when I investigated we realised these were youth who wanted to intercept a [Mitsubishi] Pajero vehicle said to be from Kampala, they also checked other cars in search of red t-shirts and berets," he said.

Asked whether the youth had notified and got authorisation from them to stage a roadblock, Mr Komakech, said security operatives in the district were unaware of the operation.

"It was not a security team arrangement. The move took us by surprise. They are still under investigation," he said.

People Power Spokesman, Mr Joel Ssenyonyi said that none of their team was in Kitgum District to distribute such attires.

"As far as I am concerned, we did not have anybody or team there. Let them produce the car, berets and t-shirts which I am sure they never got. Whoever mobilised those youth knows very well what they were up to and police should help here," Mr Ssenyonyi said.

editoriaol@ug.nationmedia.com

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