Early reports from police indicate criminal activities perpetuated by conmen and pickpockets at the ongoing Martyrs’ Day celebrations held today at Namugongo in Wakiso District.
The religious celebrations held annually on June 3, attract tens of thousands of people who convene to commemorate the murder of Christian believers killed between 31 January 1885 and 27 January 1887, on orders of Mwanga II, the Kabaka of Buganda.
As early as 9AM into celebrations, Uganda Police reported 36 registered cases of thefts and one of issuing counterfeit currency.
In a statement, KMP Deputy spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire said a total of 34 suspects have been arrested and detained at Kira Division Police Station for various offenses.
The 35 criminal incidents include four cases of theft of phones, one of stealing from a motor vehicle, and another indecent of assault at Anglican Shrine.
By yesterday afternoon, security had been heightened both at the Catholic and the Anglican shrines, as a way of averting safety threats during the Martyrs Day celebrations.
Police also said they had embarked on sensitizing the pilgrims to watch their belongings and be suspicious of persons who are not part of their groups.
However, criminals seem to have found a way to infiltrate huge crowds with believers coming from the East Africa region and beyond. Military police personnel, Police counterterrorism units, traffic officers and bomb squads are visible on ground to safeguard the believers during the event.
“We thank the pilgrims for following the security guidelines and being peaceful. We want to assure the members of the public that we will continue to safeguard them as they celebrate Martyrs Day.” He noted.