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14 suspects escape from Kyotera police cell

Lameck Kigozi

The Police Flying Squad is hunting for 14 suspects who escaped from a cell at Kyotera police station on Wednesday night.

The escape was noticed during the early morning cell check on Thursday, according to the deputy regional police commander Lameck Kigozi. The suspects reportedly burrowed a hole through one of the cell's walls to create an escape route.

Godfrey Babaranda, the officer-in-charge of the station and Musa Kayongo, the district police commander had reportedly decided to conceal information about the escape.

The escapees are identified by only one name; Katamba, Sserwadda, Matovu, Mayombwe, Lubega, Serunjogi, Kazibwe, Kasozi, Ashim, Mugabi, Mbabazi, Nsereko, Wasswa and Mutaawe.

The station diary indicates that the suspects had been arrested between February 3, and March 6 in connection with crimes such as abduction, defilement and theft, among others.

A junior officer at the station said that the suspects were to be presented before court today, Friday, to face their respective charges. Although he attributes the incident to lack of enough security personnel and weak structures, he suspects that the escape was aided by an officer on duty.

This is the second escape since October 2017 when Yasin Mayanja, the deputy chief administrative officer, escaped from the same cell. Mayanja had been arrested and detained on allegations of abuse of office and corruption.

He was denied bond and locked in a cell only to find him missing the following day. Police have been tracking him in vain.

Other police, prison escapes

There have been several attempts to escape from lawful custody since 2010. In April 2010, at least one inmate was killed and 10 others injured as they tried to escape from Masaka government prison.

In March 2013, 10 inmates escaped from Kalisizo government prison in Rakai district. They were John Mirembe, Wycliffe Mamaggwa, Jacob Kalyango, Abdul Lusiba, Fred Yubu, Bob Vincent Ssemakula, Bosco Ssepuuya, Damiano Ssemanda, Moses Mukasa and Vincent Ssenyondo.

In the same year, Pastor William Muwanguzi of the "Kiwedde" fame attempted to escape from Kalisizo prison where he had been remanded for impersonating a Catholic priest with intent to extort money from residents in Rakai district.

He was re-arrested and charged with attempted escape. But in September 2015, Muwanguzi escaped from Mutukula prison and went to Tanzania. He was traced in Zimbabwe where he was arrested a deported.

In December 2014- six inmates escaped from Kyanamukaka prison. They include John Ssali, Charles Ssentongo, and Peter Mugerwa, Bosco Ssebunya, Mike Kasozi and another. In the same year, eight suspects escaped from Lyantonde police cell.

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd