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The group was arrested during an operation in 3 villages of Kyansi, Nakatete and Lugazi in Butenga Sub County in Bukomansimbi district. The suspects include Muzeyi Kanabi alias Scoba, Yuda Ssentongo, Francis Kissekka , Charles Kisule,  Abas Kateregga, Peter Twabuke and Gorette Nampiima among others.

Marijuana plantations in Uganda
Marijuana plantations in Uganda

The suspects were found with gardens of marijuana which they had planted in the middle of their maize plantations and all marijuana plants were up rooted.

The Southern Region Police spokesperson Noah Sserunjoji says that the operation followed a public outcry over increasing cases of crime reported in Bukomansimbi which locals attribute to marijuana abuse.

He says that cases like house breaking, robbery, theft and defilement among others are growing because a big number of youths are involved in taking drugs.

Sserunjoji says that such operations are going to be extended to other parts of the district before rolling out to other districts in the region.

Butenga Sub county chairperson Joseph Magezi, says that most of the residents in his area grow marijuana for sale but claim that it is for their animals.

He says that many youths in Butenga spend most of their time during the day smoking marijuana and gambling and at night break into people’s houses.

Nampiima Gorette, one of the suspects, claims that she planted marijuana because she uses it to treat worms in her domestic animals. She denies allegations that she sells it out to people that abuse it which has led to an increase in crime in Bukomansimbi.

Sserunjoji says that the suspects are likely to face charges of drug abuse when police investigations are completed.