Kikuube District, Friday, December 30, 2023
Police in Kikuube District are intensifying efforts to apprehend two individuals, Phillip Kakombabitooke and Charles Irumba, accused of orchestrating a deadly episode of mob justice. The incident unfolded on Thursday when a mob, allegedly mobilized by the suspects, brutally lynched 25-year-old Julius Kugonza on accusations of stealing maize.
Kugonza, a resident of Kyamugoba LCI, Bubogo parish in Kyangwali sub-county, met a tragic end as the enraged mob reportedly beat him to death before callously dumping his lifeless body by the roadside.
Albertine region police spokesperson, Julius Hakiza, revealed that residents identified Kakombabitooke and Irumba as the ringleaders behind the gruesome killing. Hakiza stated, “The two spearheaded the brutal killing of the deceased.”
This incident marks another case of mob justice in Kikuube District, following the arrest of James Muhanuzi, the LCI Chairperson of Muhwiju village, earlier this year. Muhanuzi faced charges related to a similar vigilante-style killing tied to the alleged pickpocketing of mourners at a burial ceremony.
The 2018 Uganda Human Rights Commission’s report sheds light on the complex factors contributing to the prevalence of mob justice, including delayed police investigations, prolonged prosecutions, high youth unemployment leading to idleness, and weaknesses in laws governing bail and bond for suspects.
Authorities are now on a mission to bring Kakombabitooke and Irumba to justice, highlighting the urgent need to address the underlying issues fueling the disturbing trend of mob justice in the region. As the investigation unfolds, concerns persist about the broader implications of such acts on the rule of law and community safety in Kikuube District.