By Ivan Mwine
The police have arrested the ring leader of the Moroto Prison break that happened in September, 2020, in which 219 prisoners escaped with 15 guns and fled into Moroto Mountain, although many of them have since been arrested.
According to the police, the long sought after fugitive, identified as Lokolikau Lochu,40, was arrested over the weekend during a disarmament exercise that was conducted by the Uganda Police and Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF), in which 50 guns were recovered.
“As the disarmament exercise gets underway, the joint forces have recovered an SMG.No.UG.POL.56-5968030-40693 with 14 rounds from Kotido district. This gun belongs to @UgandaPrisons and was stolen by one of the escapees who broke into the MOROTO prisons armoury last year,” the police tweeted shortly after the arrest.
“The suspect, LOKOLIKAU LOCHU-40 years, who was also the ring leader from the prison break-out has been using the same gun to carry out cattle raids,” the police added.
According to the police, seven out of 219 prisoners who escaped from Moroto Prison have since been recaptured.
Some of the fugitives reportedly took off their distinctive yellow prison uniforms and fled naked into the hills to avoid detection. The inmates killed a soldier after they broke out of the prison in Moroto.
Following the prison break then, an army spokesperson said two inmates escapees had also been killed.
The police also revealed that; “During the Disarmament and Pacification Exercise, 50 guns recovered by Joint security forces this year displayed as part of the brief to the new Karamoja Affairs State Minister- Hon. Agnes Nandutu at the UPDF 3rd division infantry headquarters.”
The guns were recovered through the voluntary exercise and the law enforcement by the joint security.
It should be noted that Minister Nandutu has since given all people and families with guns in Karamoja region an order to surrender them voluntarily failure to do which will attract the intervention of the police and army.
The UPDF and Uganda police embarked on a disarmament exercise in Karamoja sub-region a few years ago in a bid to eradicate rampant cattle rustling in the area and to stop the proliferation of small arms into the country so as to curb gun crime in Uganda.