By Micheal Atwakiire
Sheema: Engineer Latif Batambuze,27, and his colleague Medard Mwebembezi,22, narrowly escaped being lynched by angry residents of Sheema district after they were caught red-handed stealing transformers worth Shs on Tuesday night.
Eng. Batambuze from Lyantonde district and Mwebembezi, from Rubanda district, were caught red handed stealing transformers in Masheruka sub-county, Sheema district at around 2:00Am. By the time they were caught the suspects had already stolen four transformers from the same area and on the fateful night they were caught they were stealing the fifth one.
Absalom Baryaheebwa, a resident in the area said that “They came at around 7:30Pm on Monday evening, bought for us alcohol and told us that they were going to Kabwohe. At around 10:PM they departed and we thought they have gone to Kabwohe. But around 2:00Am, my wife who was returning from an overnight fellowship, saw two people standing in the middle of the road. She decided to pass through the school to seek protection from the night watch man. When they came slowly closer to where the two men had been standing, they saw people climbing electric poles and within a minute, power went off. So the watchman and my wife called us. When the thugs learnt that they had been busted, they tried to flee using a motorcycle but failed. They decided to abandon the motorcycle and ran into the bush. We got the motorcycle and burnt it.”
He added that “Early in the morning, the suspects were seen in Kanyeganyegye town hiring a vehicle to transport their gadgets. That was where they were caught from and after interrogation they led us to the forest where they had kept the stolen transformers.”
Martial Tumusiime, the greater Bushenyi police spokesperson, said that “We caught two thieves who had been stealing transformers. The two are to be charged with theft vide file number CRB 736/2019.”
It should be noted that this wasn’t the first time Eng. Batambuze is being caught in Sheema for stealing transformers.
Sources reveal that on December 12th, 2018 he was caught in Kashaka, Mbarara district, transporting transformers he had stolen from Kashozi division Sheema municipality.
He was imprisoned but later released after Umeme staff failed to appear in court to pin him.
Later after being released due to lack of complainants, Batambuze went to Sheema central police station where the transformers were kept, with an intention of stealing them again, but he was still caught and imprisoned.
However, Batambuze told this reporter that he was among engineers who wired those transformers in Sheema district and that his second hand was cut by a mob alleging him that he’d stolen their property.