Residents of Katabi town council along Kampala-Entebbe highway were last evening treated to a rare spectacle of an aircraft hovering in the skies beaming bright search light on the ground.
Flying low, the aircraft flew for about an hour from one corner of the town council to another with the biggest focus on Abayita Ababiri township. Many were awed and seen looking up at the aircraft as it roared from one part of the town council to another.
The use of the aircraft comes at a time of heightened insecurity in the area as a result of mysterious killings in the area. For weeks now, young women in the area have been disappearing, only for their bodies to be discovered in bushes.
The body of the latest victim, one Jalia Nalule, was found on Tuesday in a bush in Nkumba bringing the number of victims to 11 in the past one month. Most of the women have been raped before being strangled and sticks inserted in their private parts.
Residents are scared since no concrete arrests have been made despite police investigations and the fact that police and security chiefs, Kale Kayihura and Henry Tumukunde, respectively, are camping in the area.
The aircraft with strong light beams is a new development in the fight against the unidentified murderers. A number of residents wondered how the use of a noisy aircraft is the best way of fighting crime in the area.
However, police spokesperson AIGP Asan Kasingye, denied any knowledge of the use of any aircraft in combating crime in Katabi. Kasingye says the police are using what he terms as "intelligence-led investigations" to deal with the murders and other crimes in the area.
Asked if the police are being boosted by the military, Kasingye says they have not asked the army for support, adding that he isn't aware of any military involvement. According to Kasingye, in addition to the use of intelligence, the police have foot and motorized patrols.
Of late soldiers have been seen on patrol especially along the highway and Kasenyi road. Army spokesman Brig. Richard Karemire neither picked calls nor replied to SMS inquiries on army involvement in combating crimes in Katabi.