The increasing criminal acts in East Division, Hoima City have raised the residents’ eye brows saying it has continually become a security concern to them.
Particularly cited in Bujumbura East and Kyarwabuyamba North and South cells, the residents say their businesses, garden crops and household items are being targeted leaving their livelihood and food security crippled while domestic items being plundered.
Ms Barbara Sarah, a resident of Bujumbura East, says she has lost more than 50 chickens to thieves in a month besides cassava, bananas, maize and cabbage in her garden almost every week.
She calls on the authorities to act against the increasing crime rate in the area.
“We need the authorities to provide us with security in our area because criminals have become a menace to us. They are not giving us breathing space. Every day one wakes up expecting to find their property stolen. It is a security threat here,” Ms Sarah says.
Another resident who preferred anonymity to freely talk to Kazi-njema News says efforts to keep dogs to secure their homes have proved futile as criminals kill them with poison laced on meat in order to execute their missions without any threat.
“Cases of theft in our area have gone beyond. Even when we keep dogs for security at home, they are poisoned by thieves for them to have a conducive environment for stealing our property. Now, we are left without any option of guarding our property against thieves. The thieves are stealing our property during both day and night time and they have become a security problem in the area,” he says.
The Bujumbura East Cell Chairman, Mr Emmanuel Kaahwa, attributes the increasing crime rate in the village to a syndicate of criminal youths from Kiryateete cell who combine with their counterparts in Bujumbura East Cell, causing insecurity in the area.
He says stealing household items is partly being fanned by the high demand of scrap that sees stolen domestic utensils being sold in Hoima city.
The chairman reveals that despite the efforts to apprehend and hand the criminals to the police for legal action, complainants do not follow up the matter.
This coerces the police to release the suspects since they cannot be kept when the complainants fail to show up to enable the police to produce criminals before court for prosecution.
Mr Kaahwa challenges the higher authorities’ intervention so they can rid the area of such crime.
The Hoima East Division Resident City Commissioner (RCC), Mr William Kasigazi, says it has already been agreed upon during the city security meeting to intensify joint police and army patrols in the city in order to nab and prosecute the criminals.
He urges all Local Council One chairpersons and landlords to register their residents and tenants respectively to curb criminal acts in their areas of jurisdiction.
The RCC also urges complainants to always follow up cases in case the police arrest criminals saying it is a challenge to keep suspects in police custody beyond the mandate 48 hours without producing them before court for prosecution.