Police in the Kiira region have arrested Rachel Burungi, a 30-year-old resident of Budhumbuli West Cell in Bugembe Ward, Jinja City Northern Division, on charges of orchestrating a series of machete attacks in Jinja city and neighbouring areas.
Burungi was found hiding in the ceiling of her rented house on Tuesday evening. In addition to Burungi, four suspected accomplices named Adam Ndiye, Henry Mudhumba, Michael Musinguzi, and Bosco Nalucho were also taken into custody.
The Kiira Regional Police spokesperson, James Mubi, disclosed that Burungi had been on their wanted list for the past two months following numerous reports of machete attacks in various wards of Jinja city.
The police utilized GPS tracking devices, which linked Burungi to all the crime scenes, leading to her identification as a prime suspect. Investigators discovered that she would frequently vanish to undisclosed locations, but crucial coordinates obtained from one of the stolen phones eventually led them to her rented residence in Budhumbuli West.
A search of the premises yielded housebreaking equipment, supporting the suspicion of her involvement in the criminal activities.
The police stated that Burungi had reportedly gathered data on residents accessing targeted areas during rush hours at night and in the morning. Armed with this information, she would deploy young boys to discreetly approach the victims under the guise of seeking help.
Subsequently, older suspects armed with machetes would join the young boys, executing the attacks.
After the assaults, the children would vanish, and the older suspects would demand money or valuable items such as smartphones, watches, and designer bags from the victims.
Burungi confessed to her role in the crimes and claimed to possess unique ICT skills that enabled her to collaborate with various criminal gangs involved in similar attacks.
The suspects are presently awaiting further prosecution after providing their statements to the police. The authorities are continuing their efforts to thoroughly investigate and address the serious and alarming wave of machete attacks that have plagued the Kiira region and its surroundings.