“It was not easy tracking the killers, but we used the deceased’s phone records and later we were able to trace those who called him on the night he disappeared.”
By Bernard Masereka and Charles Etukuri
They had an urgent order for a car that a client wanted across the DR Congo border in exchange for a good amount of money. They then went to Kasese town in search of the car.
When they landed on Miiro Kizito’s Toyota Premio, they told their client that they had found a car that suited his taste.
The client then assured them that their money was ready and that they should deliver the car. The four suspects identified as Sembatya 47, from Mbondwe-Lubiriha town council, Ibra Atwine, 24, Gad Turyatemba, 47 and Johnson Makao, 27, all residents of Kamwenge, then hatched a plan to get Miiro’s car at whatever cost.
On May 8, 2012, Makao made a call to Miiro, telling him he wanted him to drive some people to Kamwenge for a meeting. Miiro told him that he had no money to buy fuel. Makao then sent Miiro some money through mobile money to buy fuel to drive to Kamwenge.
Turyatemba bought a hammer and rope and waited for Miiro to pick them at the designated stages.
After agreeing on the fare, Miiro picked the four men in different parts of the district and they drove towards Fort Portal. Miiro was not aware that the four planned to kill him.
At River Mpanga in Fort Portal, the four men got hold of Miiro, strangled him and pounded his head with a hammer. Convinced that he was dead, they threw his body in the river and drove off with his car.
The search operation
Two months after his brutal murder and persistent cries from the residents over insecurity in the area, the Inspector General of Police, Lt. Gen. Kale Kayihura, set up a special team to investigate the killings in the area.
The operation, which was led by Joel Aguma, the deputy director of Crime Intelligence at the Police headquarters, saw the four suspects picked from different parts of western Uganda. Each confessed his role in the murder and robbery.
“This was a stalled case and by the time we moved in, the residents and family members had given up. I decided to take over this case because it had stalled and the public, especially friends and family of the deceased, were losing confidence in the Police,” Aguma says.
“It was not easy tracking the killers, but we used the deceased’s phone records and later were able to trace those who called him on the night he disappeared. The phone printouts helped us trace all those who were involved in this brutal murder,” Aguma says.
In a chilling confession, the four told the Police how they planned the murder.
According to the suspects, when Miiro reached Kyenjojo town, he picked more clients, who then told him to go to Bufunjo sub-county and pick another person. However, they turned against Miiro, tied his hands and hit him on the head with a hammer.
Aguma says the thugs drove to Kamwenge and dumped his body in River Mpanga.
The four led the Police to the river, where they recovered Miiro’s decomposing body. Aguma also says the motive of the suspects was to steal and sell the vehicle, a Toyota Premio, at sh6m in the Democratic Republic of Congo.