Four suspected thieves were on Sunday lynched in Namulesa cell, in the Northern division, in Jinja city.

It is reported that one of the suspects who was riding a numberless motorcycle attempted to defraud 50,000 Shillings from a mobile money operator at around 7:30 am.  The residents resorted to beating him up and he volunteered to lead them to a rented room where they keep stolen items.

The residents surrounded the room and found three other youths sorting out suspected stolen items, which sparked anger from residents. They tied the suspects with ropes and put them in the middle of the Jinja-Kamuli road.

But Police from the Field Force Unit dispersed the residents with teargas and live bullets in vain.

The mob turned chaotic and resorted to pelting police personnel with stones in protest of blocking their actions. The angry residents overpowered the police and stoned the suspects to death, before torching their bodies.

Emmanuel Kigenyi, a mobile money operator in the area says that several criminal gangs have resorted to unscrupulous means of survival like petty theft, which sparks off anger from affected community members.

Godfrey Balondemu, the youth chairperson in Namulesa cell says that mob justice cases are on the rise due to a lack of public trust in law enforcement organs. “We register mob justice incidents on a weekly basis, with minimal survival rates largely because suspects are released prematurely, without offering satisfactory explanations to the affected individuals,” he says.

The bodies were taken to Jinja Regional Referral Hospital. Kiira Regional Police Spokesperson, James Mubi challenged the public to implore legal means of prosecuting suspects rather than mob justice, which retards the process of cracking down criminal gangs.

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