Increasing acts of house break-ins in Masaka sub-region in Central Uganda, have prompted the police to ask residents to equip themselves with pangas (machetes) and spears to fight back when attacked.
Masaka regional community liaisons officer Abdul Majid Tulibagenyi told a group of traditional herbalists at Masaka District headquarters on Tuesday to adopt the old tradition of keeping spears and machetes in their houses for self defense in case they are attacked by thieves.
Mr Tulibagenyi explained that a resident in Lwengo District recently helped police to trace a suspected burglar when he cut him several times using a machete during a midnight attack.
“When thugs broke into his house, they found him ready with his machete and he indeed fought back. He cut one of the robbers several times, forcing all of them to flee. This helped the police to trace the suspect and we indeed found him getting treatment from one of the health facilities in that district,” he said.
Mr Tulibagenyi was responding to a concern raised by one of the traditional healers who complained that local leaders had stopped them from keeping spears in their shrines.
However, Mr Yahaya Lyagoba, the deputy regional community liaisons officer, urged couples to decide on how best to keep those tools asking the herbalists to stop scaring their clients by using witchcraft practices as they are illegal under the Witchcraft Act, 1957.
The herbalists accused the police of often responding late whenever there incidents of human sacrifice, saying such crimes would remain a hard nut to crack if the speed of response remains poor.