The New Vision got hold of the original Scotland Yard report on the murder of Dr. Andrew Kayiira leader of the then Uganda Freedom Movement on March 6,1987. The report is dated May 7, 1987.
The New Vision got hold of the original Scotland Yard report on the murder of Dr. Andrew Kayiira leader of the then Uganda Freedom Movement on March 6,1987.
The report, dated May 7, 1987, which was reported missing, sparking a lot of speculation in the past weeks, is reproduced on this website.
1. This report concerns enquiries into the murder of Dr. Andrew Lutakome Kayiira age 46 years, former Minister of Energy for the Ugandan Government who at the time of his death on March 6, 1987 was residing at Lukuli-Konge village, Kampala, Uganda, and the assistance given to the Uganda Police by Detective Chief Superintendent Thompson (Serious Crime Branch) and Detective Sergeant Sanderson (Laboratory Liaison Officer) at the direct request of President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.
2. Circumstances of case
On March 6, 1987, at about 11:00pm Dr. Kayiira and his friend Mr. Henry Gombya, a BBC stringer, were having a meal with Gombya's wife, Vicky Naava, age 24 years, and three other girls, Josephine Babirye, age 19, Julian Nabwire, age 14 years and Annet Namatovu, age 23 years, when a number of men believed to be about 10 to 14, entered the garden compound and attacked the persons present.
3. At the time of the attack it was dark and the house was without electricity due to power cuts and the only lighting was that provided by a storm lamp, which was apparently hanging from the side wall nearest where the occupants were eating.
4. Some of the attackers had torches and according to the witnesses at least three of the attackers had fire-arms, one an AK47 submachine gun.
5. Exactly what transpired will be examined in greater detail further in the report but suffice it to say the occupants of the house ran into the premises, including Dr. Kayiira and Mr. Gombya and hid themselves in their respective rooms.
6.Subsequent events show that Dr. Kayiira was shot four times (two in the right arm and twice in the left side of the body), injuries from which he died and Mr.
Gombya made his escape via the front security gate and hid in a banana plantation after first separating the sum of 40 million shillings into two halves and throwing one half in a box into the matooke plantation, which adjoins the house.
The remaining half was left for the attackers and is part of the property stolen from the house. None of the other occupants of the house, i.e. the three girls, were apparently injured although Vicky Naava states that she was kicked and punched.
7. Background information
Before looking at the evidence surrounding the murder, it is of use if the reader was made aware of the backgrounds and events involving the main principals, i.e. Dr. Kayiira and Mr. Gombya.
8. Uganda has since their independence from Britain in 1962 been in regular unrest and in particular since 1971 when the Obote Government was overthrown by Amin’s Ugandan Army.
9. Obote went into exile and formed up an army called the UNLA (Ugandan National Liberation Army) and with the assistance of the Tanzanian Army overthrew Amin’s Government in 1979.
10. In 1980, Obote held elections and UNLA were retained. However, in 1985, Obote was overthrown by his Commander Okello and the UNLA continued.
11. In 1986 Okello was himself overthrown by the NRA (National Resistance Army) led by President Museveni.
12. It was during Obote’s 1980 elections which it is alleged by some people was rigged that the NRA was formed in the bush by, at the beginning, 27 men.
13. It was during Museveni’s time in the bush that he met up with Dr. Kayiira’s UFA (Ugandan Freedom Army) and its political wing the UFM (Uganda Freedom Movement).
14. Suffice it say Museveni overthrew the Okello government in 1986 at which time Dr. Kayiira was with Okello. After the coup, Dr. Kayiira joined forces with Museveni.
15. Despite President Museveni’s friendship with Dr. Kayiira, there had been recent mistrust of him by the President as a result of which Dr. Kayiira was arrested in October for allegedly plotting against the Government and subsequently released by the court on February 24, 1987, due to lack of evidence.
16. The release of Dr. Kayiira surprised some people and the subsequent murder of Kayiira led to the strong rumours that his death was politically motivated and had been caused by the Government’ hand.
17. It against this background that evidence surrounding the investigation into Dr. Kayiira’s death must be viewed.
18. Events leading up to the murder
Mr. Henry Gombya is a BBC stringer and although his work involves reporting matters of interest to news agencies on freelance basis, he is undoubtedly very well connected with many government officials and also strongly suspected of being involved in black market business transactions involving foreign exchange. In Uganda the exchange of currency on the black market appears to be the rule rather than the exception.
19. Gombya is a married man and although he claims that his wife is Vicky Naava, it is known that he has a wife called Betty living in Uganda.
20. Whatever the situation domestically, Gombya on February 22, 1987, rented a four-bedroom house at Lukuli-Konge Village, Kampala and moved in with Vicky Naava. His rent was 1.2 million shillings (500 pounds) per month and he paid one year’s rent in advance. It was at his house that the murder took place
21. Dr. Kayiira, as already stated, has been a leading figure of the UFA and UFM and a close friend of President Museveni although relations had been strained recently. Dr. Kayiira was also a close friend of Gombya although only having met him in 1985 and prior to the murder the two had been seen very often together.
It is also strongly rumoured that whilst Dr. Kayiira was in prison, money sent to him from America for his UFM officers was being looked after by Gombya. This fact, however, is difficult to confirm, and Gombya recently denied this to the officer reporting.
What is agreed, however, is after Dr. Kayiira’s release from prison on February 24, 1987, Gombya went to prison to ask why he had been released and further to request that he should be re-arrested. The reason for this action is, however, unknown due to Gombya leaving Uganda after the murder and is, therefore, a matter of conjecture.
22. It is significant, however, that Gombya allowed Dr. Kayiira to stay at his house after his release from prison.
23. It was because of the above facts and the political overtones that the subsequent murder of Dr. Kayiira was quickly seized on by various factions to suggest that his death was not only politically motivated, but might even have been carried out by President Museveni’s soldiers on the President’s orders. This charge is emphatically denied by the President.
24. Scene of murder
The venue of the offence is a three-bedroom detached house standing within a large plot of land with wire security fencing surrounding it. This fencing is also strengthened by bamboo cane. The height of the fence is 7 feet.
25. The house itself is a one-storey type with balcony over the top of a garage attached to the side of the house. At the rear of the house is a building which is used for cooking and for servants to live.
26. A drive way leads from the house to a double door security entrance with the gate being 8 feet in height with spikes on the top. It is this gate that Gombya states he climbed over to make his escape.
27.The house is owned by Mr and Mrs. Katongole who live opposite and had the house built to rent. Mr. Gombya was the first tenant of the property.
28. The surrounding area is mainly bush country with plantations of banana and matooke, which the local villagers cultivate to sell and to live.
The villagers’ houses are mainly mud lined walled huts and they live together in small communes drawn together only by the local village chief and the elected Defence Resistance leader.
These two latter persons are very important and it will be seen later have significant bearing on Dr. Kayiira’s presence at the Gombya residence. The conditions for the villagers are very primitive. Running between the various villages and outside Gombya house is a small track which is overgrown and leads eventually to Ggaba Road which in turn leads to Kampala, which is about six miles away.
29. To give some perspective of the area the reporting officer made house-to-house enquiries and in doing so had to walk or drive up to one mile away from the scene to ascertain information from possible witness.
On the night of the murder as already stated Gombya together with his wife and three other girls were having a meal when they were attacked by a number of men with torches and guns, whereby they ran into the house and locked themselves in their respective bedrooms. Dr. Kayiira and Mr. Gombya each having separate rooms.
31. The suspects, some according to the occupants, were wearing combat trousers and in some cases shirts, shouted to the occupants to come out of the rooms. Also it is alleged that they asked where the doctor and the UFM man was and where the money was.
This reference to money is significant as it is known that Gombya had obtained 50 million shillings only a few days earlier, further that Dr. Kayiira was present in Gombya’s office when the money was delivered in two separate amounts (10 million shillings on March 3 and 40 million shillings shortly afterwards).
At the current exchange rate of approximately 2,000 shillings to the pound the value of that money is in the region of 25,000 pounds. This, however, must be looked at in the light of the unofficial exchange rate mainly used by the Ugandans, which would reduce the value to about 2,500 pounds.
32. The suspects according to witnesses and a reconstruction of the scene, appear to have ordered the four girls out of their room where they had been hiding and after questioning them had locked them in the bathrooms. They then fired a shot through the door of Gombya’s bedroom and then ambushed or kicked open the door and entered. Gombya had decamped.
33. According to Gombya, while the suspects were shouting at the girls and kicking his door, he in panic split the money into two halves and threw 20 million shillings in a box into the matooke plantation from the balcony leading from his room and left the remaining money in the bed for the suspects to steal.
He then jumped from the balcony, a height of 12 feet and ran down the drive way and on the second attempt managed to climb over the gate. He then hid in a banana plantation until morning.
34. Whilst this was happening, the suspects were shouting to Dr. Kayiira to open his bedroom door, which he did, at the same time asking them what they wanted. Exactly what happened then will never be fully known, but from reconstruction it appears that upon opening his door, the gunman fired two shots which went through Kayiira’s right inside arm and then a further two shots which went through his left side abdomen and passed out the right side. Dr Kayiira died where he had been shot.
35. The suspects then ransacked the house and stole personal property, including the large sum of money (about 20 million shillings), a tape recorder, a camera, radio cassette and video deck belonging to Mr. Gombya. It is not known whether property from Dr. Kayiira was stolen, but it is thought that he had no property at the house.
36. Witnesses state that when Gombya escaped and was running towards the gates, he was seen by one of the suspects who raised the alarm and was told not to pursue him as the UFM man is in the house.
This would suggest that the suspects knew that Dr. Kayiira was staying at the house and from previous questions to the occupants knew there was money in the house also.
37. Mr. Gombya states that he hid in the banana plantation until about 6am in the morning when he returned to the house and discovered that his friend Dr. Kayiira was dead. He also recovered the 20 million shillings that he had thrown into the matooke plantation.
38. Police were eventually notified at Kabalagala Police Post some two miles away and arrived shortly after 7:30am. A photographer and scenes of crime officer arrived soon after wards.
Scenes of crime examination was always going to be difficult as prior to police arrival villagers and other persons from the surrounding areas had descended onto the property and went inside the house to satisfy their curiosity, and pay their respects.
39. The pathologist Dr. Kakande of Mulago Hospital examined the body and confirmed that the cause of death was due to multiple gunshot wounds. He did not attend the scene himself. He is very vague about the injuries and admits that he did not carry out a full post mortem examination, but purely looked at the body and later allowed the relatives to bury the body.
No clothes or blood samples were taken from the body which was buried on March 11 at Masulita, his village, about 30 miles from Kampala.
40. At the scene of the crime, three bullets were found and a broken blood stained stick. In the matooke plantation next to the house was a cardboard box, which had contained the money left on the bed by Gombya and also found in the matooke plantation was a cream coloured jacket, a handbag belonging to Mrs Gombya containing correspondence.
In the banana plantation/ bush area about 300 yards from the house was found a black briefcase belonging to Gombya and also a shoe. Correspondence from these items were also found strewn around.
41. Investigations by the Kampala CID under the direction of Mr. Simon Mugamba (Director of CID) and Senior superintendent Fidelis Ongom (officer in charge) commenced and quickly established that Gombya had requested from Mr Henry Kateregga, a Kampala businessman, the sum of 50 million shillings very urgently. Further that Gombya has rang him several times to hurry the matter up.
Although this action could lead credence to the rumour that Gombya had received money from abroad on behalf of Dr. Kayiira and may have misappropriated it and was now trying to recoup some of it, there is also the stronger notion that Gombya was involved in foreign exchange business deals with Kateregga.
This involved Gombya being paid his wages in a business firm of Katerega’s choice in London and subsequently Gombya being paid in Kampala in local currency. This has a ring of truth about it when it is considered that the local residents invariably carry out transactions on the unofficial money exchange, which is up to 10 times that of the official rate.
42. As a result of their investigations the Police were contacted by a man named Emmanuel Sebbunza, aged 17 years, who informed police that he had been involved with the person responsible for the killing of Dr. Kayiira and, although not at the scene at the time of the offence, assisted them in its preparation and later subsequent hiding of the stolen property. He further stated that he had been paid money for both his assistance and to keep quiet about who took part.
43. It is interesting to note that he states that the motive was robbery as the persons involved in the offence were all ex-UFM members, knew that Dr. Kayiira was at the house and further knew that a large amount of money was in the house also. He states, however, that it was believed that Dr. Kayiira had the money.
44. This evidence fits in if it is considered that Dr. Kayiira was with Gombya when the 50 million shillings was obtained by him and further that it was believed that Gombya was holding a large sum of money for Dr. Kayiira.
45. Emmanuel Sebbunza further stated that the arrangements for the offence were made at the shop of Muzeyi & Sons, Kampala belonging to Mr. John Katabazi, age 28 years, a businessman.
46. Subsequently, on March 19, 1987, Katabazi was arrested, as also were four of the 10 or so other participants. Robert Magezi, also known as Babi Katende, age 20 years, and Peter Kiwanuka, also known as Backfire or Kayongo, age 19 years.
47. All persons arrested have been interviewed and made statements, but all deny being involved in the offence. One of those arrested in fact gives his alibi of being involved in another robbery at the time of the offence and, therefore, could not have been involved.
48. All accused, apart from the owner of the business premises (Katabazi), are apparently ex-UFM members, who had served under Dr. Kayiira.
49. Identification parades were subsequently held and Magezi was identified as being at the scene by Julian Nabwire, Kiwanuka identified as being at the scene by Annet Namatovu and, although in itself not evidence, Nabwire almost identified Kizito, but was scared to do so because of the look she was given by him.
50. In addition, the cream coloured coat found at the scene was identified by Emmanuel Sebbunza as belonging to Kizito.
51. The evidence against the owner of the business premises is just that of Sebbunza and the fact he states that the arrangements for the offence were made there.
52. All persons were subsequently charged with the murder of Dr. Kayiira and are at present remanded in custody.
On Thursday March 26, 1987, at the request of President Museveni, the Ugandan President, I (detective Chief Superintendent Thompson) attached to the Serious Crimes Branch New Scotland Yard, together with Detective Inspector Sanderson, Scenes of Crime Officer attached to the Metropolitan Police Laboratory, travelled to Uganda to assist the investigating officers because of the strong suggestions that the murder of Dr. Kayiira was a political one.
53. On March 28, 1987, a briefing was obtained from the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Luke Ofungi, and also from the Director of CID, Mr. Simon Mugamba.
54. Subsequent examination of the scene of the offence by the officers revealed the finding in Gombya’s room of a piece of metal (a bullet) and a piece of wood in Dr. Kayiira’s room, which fitted a missing piece on the door of Gombya’s bedroom, which had probably been transferred on the foot of the suspect who had kicked the door down.
Blood samples had to be taken from the blood where the victim had died also from blood found on the walls in both Gombya’s and Dr. Kayiira’ rooms. Two tool mark casts were also taken from Gombya’s room. All these exhibits, together with Dr. Kayiira’s briefcase and the cardboard box which had contained the money, together with the cream coloured jacket were sent by hand to the Metropolitan Police Laboratory London for examination. Also sent to the laboratory were three bullets and an empty cartridge case found at the scene.
55. A bullet hole was also found in the garage door and although the bullet has not been recovered, it is known that Gombya’ car was in the garage at the time and now has a burst tyre. Attempts are being made by the Uganda police to recover the bullet from the car which is still in the possession of Gombya’s family.
56. Fingerprints and palm prints, together with control blood samples of all the suspects, were also obtained and sent to the laboratory for examination.
57. Enquiries were made extensively in the area of the murder up to a mile away, which showed that no NRA officers had been seen in the area prior to the date of the murder and further that there was a group of men, about five or so, who were robbing the villagers. No suggestion has been made of military men being seen in the area and the NRA commander has confirmed that his men were not in the area at the time.
58. Also interviewed was a Mr. Kakande-Gava, a teacher who had known Dr. Kayiira since he was a boy and had in effect adopted him and paid for his schooling.
On the two days prior to the murder, including the actual day of the murder, he had spoken to Dr. Kayiira in his (Mr. Kakande Gava) office and on hearing that Gombya with other four unknown were going to organise a party to celebrate his release from prison, warned him not to attend as he did not trust Gombya, who he says was so changeable in personality, and further he felt that he would be signing his own death warrant. His reasons for this assumption are unclear, but how prophetic his warning was.
59. Enquiries also showed that although as is the custom and law Gombya had been introduced to the chief of the village and the defence resistance leader, he had not in fact informed the two officials that Dr. Kayiira was living at the address. This is looked upon by the local Ugandan people as unusual and bad manners. Local enquiries also revealed that none of the villagers knew he was living there although they knew him by name.
60. Lines of enquiry by the investigating officers include checking the financial background of Dr. Kayiira and Mr. Gombya, the tracing of a woman who an informant states was involved in the leading of the suspects to the house. This woman it is alleged as one of the girls who was at the scene when the attack took place.
61. Attempts are being made also to trace five other suspects whose names are known, but who have gone to ground in the bush or have gone to Kenya.
62. Mrs Gombya on March 11, 1987 went to a local travel agent and purchased two open airline tickets for herself and a man named Mr. G. Dick. The man Dick is Gombya (confirmed by him) and the tickets costing a total of 3,144,680 shillings (1572.34 pounds) were paid in cash.
63. These tickets were used by Mr and Mrs Gombya on March 13, 1987 when they travelled by Ugandan Airlines to London Gatwick Airport. Gombya travelled using this name Dick.
64. It is this action by Gombya that has raised suspicion that he may in fact have had some part in the murder of Dr. Kayiira for although he gave a statement to police before he left, it was self-written and he gave no opportunity to interview him on it.
65. It is also unfortunate, in hindsight, that Gombya and his wife were taken to Entebbe Airport by the Deputy High Commissioner Mr. Peter Penfold. Gombya was not in fact wanted for any offence at the time and it is alleged by him that this was verified after checks with government sources, however, great play was made by the various press/newspapers on the fact that prior to his exit from the country, Gombya had gone into hiding and had not been interviewed by the Police.
66. Much comment was also made by the press that rumours strongly stated that Gombya during the time he was in hiding was being sheltered at Mr. Penfold’s own residence.
67. Although at the request of Uganda Police, Mr. Penfold was not officially interviewed in respect of his actions and knowledge of these matters. I did in fact holding an unofficial briefing talk with him in which he agrees that he took Mr. And Mrs Gombya to the airport, but strongly denies allowing him to stay at his house or any other British High Commission residence.
68. His reasons were that Gombya was a good friend of his (Penfold is the godfather of one of Gombya’s children) and was purely assisting him in his travel to the airport. The fact that his car commands diplomatic respect did not assist in this matter.
69. Although upon our arrival, this matter was causing some concern, it appears now to have died down and the fact that British Police officers are assisting the Ugandan Police has help relieve the pressure on this subject.
It is the reporting officer’s opinion that Mr. Penfold’s actions were in hindsight an error of judgement and he had not stayed at his address, but was picked up near the Kampala International Centre is believed.
70. There is still much to be done by the Ugandan Police in preparing the case for court, which is not helped by the fact that there is little or no petrol in Kampala and officers making enquiries are experiencing difficulties in travelling to potential witnesses’ addresses. Both Metropolitan police officers have assisted them as much as possible in this matter.
71. Regular meetings were held with the Ugandan Police Officers and Minutes of the main conference were made and given to the officer in the case and the Director of CID in order that they were fully aware of the various actions to be carried out.
It will be seen from the foregoing report that there are many options as to the type of persons who committed the offence and the motive behind it.
73. The original option that the president’s own men were behind the murder of Dr. Kayiira was in fact the strongest one when the British Police Officers arrived in Uganda, despite the fact that five men had been arrested. All of the suspects except one are ex-UFM men and this did not assist to quell the rumours abounding Kampala.
The main options are:
(1) It was robbery that went wrong when one of the suspects panicked and shot Dr. Kayiira
(2) That the suspects knew Dr. Kayiira was living at Mr. Gombya’s address, were aware that a large sum of money (50 million shillings) had been delivered to Gombya’s office when Dr. Kayiira was present upon which such delivery and presumed that it was for Dr. Kayiira and not Gombya.
(3) Had been informed that upon Dr. Kayiira’s release he had asked for Gombya to supply him the money which it was rumoured Gombya had received from abroad on behalf of Dr. Kayiira for his army forces, and went to rob him.
(4) A combination of any of the above three with the situation presenting itself that, as alleged by the informant, the suspects all being ex-UFM men went to rob Dr. Kayiira and one of their number (WADDA) was recognised by Dr. Kayiira and he had to shoot him to prevent later identification to police.
(5) Option 3 with the added ingredient that Gombya set up the robbery himself to solve his problems in having to return Dr. Kayiira’s money. Gombya’s actions upon his escape helps to support this theory.
(6) The President’s own forces were behind that murder because the courts had released Dr. Kayiira for lack of evidence.
74. It is the reporting officer’s opinion that on the evidence available Government forces were not behind that murder of Dr. Kayiira and that the suspects knowing that Dr. Kayiira was living at Gombya’s address and having been given information that a large sum of money was on the premises and further believing it to be Kayiira’s, simply set out to rob him of it. During the robbery one was recognised and shot him. Option 4 is, therefore, the most likely conclusion.
75. Until Gombya is interviewed at length by the Uganda Police, it is impossible to be certain of his implication in this offence, if in fact he is involved and this must, therefore, remain a matter of conjecture.
76. However, he was seen on 1st May, 1987, by reporting officer in London and has agreed to be interviewed by police from Uganda. Arrangements are being made through I.C.P.O. for this to be done.
77. In conclusion, I would like to express the thanks of myself and Detective Sergeant Sanderson for the assistance and co-operation given by both the Uganda Police and Ugandan authorities and also the British High Commissioner, Uganda.
78. Submitted for information with a request that a copy of the report be forwarded to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for their information and that the British High Commissioner in Kampala, and a copy forwarded to Mr. Luke Ofungi, the Inspector General of Police, Kampala, Uganda.
Detective Chief Superintendent
( K. Thompson)