Masaka and surrounding districts of Lwengo, Bukomansimbi, and Kalungu were early this year on high alert after a spate of murders in the region left over 20 people killed in a period of five months.
Residents in the four districts were terrorized by machete wielding gangs who also committed rape on certain occasions. Some of the worst hit areas included Kingo sub-county in Lwengo and Kyabakuza sub-country in Masaka. There were rumours that a rebel group was lurking in the area although security forces dismissed the claim.
The attacks forced Police and other security agencies to place a curfew for residents of 11pm due to intense operations. A number of victims are being nursed at different hospitals in Masaka and Kampala.
One of the victims is M/s Prossy Nalubega, a resident of Kyabakuza, in Masaka. In this narration, Nalubega states that they were attacked at night on 30th March 2017 while they were asleep.
Nalubega says that the armed attackers hit their village when it was raining at around 2am.
“When they hit the door with stones, we tried to call our neighbor little knowing that she was also facing the same problem. She was even raped by the thugs in the process. After entering our house, they immediately hit my husband with a machete on his forehead and this made him lie on the floor unconsciously.” Nalubega’s husband, Mansoor Matovu, was severally injured as he attempted to fight the attackers.
Nalubega (pictured) adds that at this moment, she attempted to call the area Chairman for assistance but the call failed to go through. Scared and frightened, she tried to make an alarm to attract neighbors ‘attention but was hit on the head by the thugs using clubs and machetes to silence her.
Since it was raining heavily, the neighbors could not hear my alarm.
“The thugs descended on me and cut off my ear after hitting my husband. The husband told me in a low tone that he was dying. Ohhhh, this was a trying moment for us because our two young kids had started crying terribly but the thugs only barked at them to keep quiet. Amidst all the ensuing pain, the thugs started demanding for money from me. They ransacked everything in the house while searching for money.” narrates Nalubega
Like it was in the case in other attacks, the assailants disappeared with their loot after the attack before Police and their neighbors arrived.
The chairman, Kayizi Micheal later organized for transport for them to be taken to Masaka hospital. However because they were in critical situation, they were referred to Nsambya hospital for more treatment.
Though Nalubegawas discharged from hospital, her husband remains admitted in Nsambya hospital as he tries to recover, seven months after the attack.
This has forced her to sell off most her property to pay for the treatment costs of her husband.
Nalubega however wonders why Police has failed to prosecute one of the suspects behind the attack.
Nalubega claims that she witnessed Rashid Kayemba as one of the assailants who attacked them.
Perturbed and confused, Nalubega sought for the intervention of the UPDF Intelligence Officer, one indentified as Adam, who was deployed in the area following the attacks. With the help of this officer, the suspect was arrested and detained at Masaka for two weeks.
However, she says that the suspect, who happens to be a villagement, was released on police bond under unclear circumstances. Nalubega castigated Police for frustrating her efforts to get justice in this matter.
However, the District Police Commander for Masaka, Henry Kintu says that Mr. Kiyemba was released after his relatives lodged a complaint in the Uganda Human Rights Commission that he had spent two weeks in Police cells contrary to his constitutional right.
Similar to Nalubega’s plight, the attacks have left communities in Masaka sub region in fear.