Police investigations in Lyantonde district have suffered a setback due to the absence of a sniffer dog. The only sniffer dog, which is fondly known as ‘Sergeant Buster’ attached to Lyantonde Police Station, is battling severe back pain and paralysis in the feet.
It is two months since Buster was withdrawn from all field operations to have enough rest and allow canine specialists to examine and treat him. According to sources from the canine unit, ‘Sergeant Buster’ serves the entire district and has been overworked for over five years since he joined the police force in Lyantonde.
In spite of the constant medical checkups, the dog is still ailing, which has hindered police investigations of certain crimes.
According to Robert Tuhabwe, the Lyantonde District CID Officer, confirmed the dilemma, saying that Buster’s ill health has come at a time of the increasing crime levels in the district mainly theft, murder and others.
“We are facing a set back in tracing criminals during lock down and crime is at rise and with absence of sniffer dog it becomes hard for us to trace criminals,” he said
Tuhabwe explains that without arresting suspects from the scene of crime, it becomes difficult for them to identify or track criminals without a sniffer dog. However, he noted that Buster’s ill-health came at the time when two people were murdered in Kasambya and Kyewanula villages in Lyantonde rural last month.
The deceased include Medious Namara, who was hacked to death by unknown assailants on Thursday last week in Kasambya and Nailah Namata, 37, who was hacked by her husband in Kyewanula.
“We have failed to trace the suspects in the gruesome murders due to the lack of a sniffer dog,” he noted
According to Sadat Waligo, a brother to the deceased Namata, police could not trace the killer, saying the case has stalled up to date. He further appealed to Masaka Regional Police to intervene and give them another dog.
However, the dog handler, Brown Yeko Balwaine, says Buster is being treated and they hope he will recover in two weeks. He adds that Buster has helped to solve over thirty big cases including murder and robberies as well as theft of food and burglary.