Ugandan women fear serial killer on the loose

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Ugandan women are living in fear for their lives as a suspected serial killer continues to mutilate and kill mostly young females in the Wakiso District in the centre of the East African country.

Uganda’s Daily Monitor reported on Monday says at least 20 women had been found dumped in two areas of Wakiso District since May.

Many of the victims had been raped and strangled, some had sticks shoved into their vaginas, while others had body parts sawn off.

Local farmers reported a rising number of bodies. At first a body was discovered once a month, then every two or three weeks and then once a week.

In the suburb of Nansana, in the capital Kampala, and 35 kilometres southwest in Katabi, close to Entebbe, women reported seeing similarities in the murders which have hit their neighbourhoods, further fuelling rumours of a serial killer on the loose.

Furthermore, the grisly killings have continued even after police arrested more than 30 people in late August, charging 13 with murder and terrorism.

No information about those arrested has been made public, forcing residents to take matters into their own hands.

One of the security steps taken by locals is the establishment of citizen patrol units, comprising dozens of people that patrol areas around Katabi, on an isolated peninsula jutting into Lake Victoria.

Accompanied by a patrol officer, the patrol sets off every evening around 10pm. Passing cars are flagged down and searched while the identity documents of the passengers are checked.

On one of the patrols, members reached a clearing where children play football by day, and stopped where the partially decomposed of body of 31-year-old Faith Komugisha was discovered in June.

Komugisha was one of nine bodies officially discovered in the area but local journalist George Kakooza, who lives in the town, believes the true number could be higher.

“The first bodies were found in February but nobody noticed a pattern. Some of the women were prostitutes and they were all poor, just passing through for work,” he said.

Kakooza outlined a pattern in the killings to the Monitor.

“Someone goes missing then days later, sometimes a week, their decomposing body is discovered. But at that place there’s no blood and no signs of a struggle. I think they’re being taken somewhere else then their body dumped later.”

However, the police deny that a serial killer is on the loose, instead blame an organised criminal gang with strong links to ritual murders
They also state that domestic violence is a factor in some of the killings.

Police chief Kale Kayihura further insists that police are on top of the situation – cold comfort for the women being forced to lock themselves in at home.

Monday 18 September 2017 16:53