Ugandan police on Monday arrested a number of protesters who hit the streets of the capital over unresolved murders of women in parts of the country.
The protesters who were predominantly female were joined by a number of men waving placards calling for action over the murders that have so far claimed some 21 lives.
A journalist covering the protests said, the protesters say they want more action from government and police.‘We need a report. Why were those women killed?’ one woman is quoted to have said.
We have not concluded on our search but the criminals who are doing this and their motives and their accomplices in this criminality - possibilities of human sacrifice and witchcraft cannot be ruled out but they are just there – possibilities.
The main reason advanced by the police for the arrest of some protesters and dispersal of the march was that they had not obtained the necessary pass to demonstrate. A claim that organizers rejected. In all, three people were picked up and all placards confiscated.
Some of the inscriptions on their placards included: Women Lives Matter,’ ‘Stop Murdering Our Women,’ ‘Save Our Women/Girls, All Lives Matter.’ Other placards listed the names and ages of the murdered women.
The most recent incident related to the murders was last week when the 21st victim’s body was found in Entebbe, near the capital, Kampala. 38-year-old Harriet Nantongo, had gone missing on the night of September 14. Her lifeless body was later found about 30 kilometers from the city center.
Yes. It's true. Body of Nantongo Harriet, wife to Musiba Noah in Kabale'A' Katabi town council. https://t.co/W6lwUzJWSJ— Asan Kasingye (@AKasingye) September 19, 2017
Police say they are still trying to figure out the mystery, and have linked the killings to ritual murders. Emilian Kayima, spokesperson of Kampala Metropolitan Police said investigations were still ongoing.
“We have not concluded on our search but the criminals who are doing this and their motives and their accomplices in this criminality – possibilities of human sacrifice and witchcraft cannot be ruled out but they are just there – possibilities.”
Members of parliament stopped work for two days to mount pressure on ministers and police over the unresolved murders in three districts around Kampala. Some residents suspect the murder victims are killed elsewhere and the bodies later dumped.
At least 21 bodies of young women have been found since May and police have been tasked to bring those responsible to justice. The government has defended the police, who earlier this month said they had arrested 30 suspects and charged 13 of them, listing possible motives including domestic rows.
There is fear and panic in the central part of the country with alleged reports of a serial killer on the loose.