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Kaweesi murder: What has happened two years after?

By Chris Kiwawulo

Added 18th March 2019 01:36 PM

As a result, court awarded the 22 suspects sh80m in compensation, each, although government appealed the award.

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As a result, court awarded the 22 suspects sh80m in compensation, each, although government appealed the award.

(File picture, the late AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi)

March 17,2019marked exactly two years since gunmen riding on a motorcycle gruesomely murdered former Police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Felix Kaweesi.

Kaweesi was gunned down near his home in Kulambiro, Nakawa division, on March 17, 2017, as he left his home for work.

He was killed together with his bodyguard Kenneth Erau and driver, Geoffrey Mambewa.

But two years after Kaweesi’s murder, what has been done? Shortly after the murder, over 40 people were arrested.

The suspects included civilians, Police and Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) officers.

Also, children belonging to some of the suspects were held amid public protests. Later, however, many of the 40 suspects were released, after Police established that they were not linked to the murder.

A total of 22 suspects were produced in court, although Police failed to adduce evidence against them.

As a result, the Nakawa chief magistrate’s court released 19 of them, on bail. But when Ahmada Shaban Ssenfuka, Umar Maganda, Abdul-Majid Ojerere and Ibrahim Kissa were granted bail in March last year, they were re-arrested on fresh charges of terrorism and treason.

They have since been released.

On March 7, this year, the High Court deferred the ruling on the bail application of eight other men accused of murdering Kaweesi, to March 19 due to delayed verification of their national identity cards by the National Identification and Registration Authority.

Today, a total of 23 suspects are facing trial over the murder.

THE INVESTIGATIONS

The security agencies have carried out an extensive investigation into the murder. However, there have been no conclusive findings on who and why Kaweesi was killed.

The Internal Security Organisation (ISO) findings showed that the guns used in the murder were not registered in Uganda, just like the phone SIM cards used to communicate.

Recently, ISO revealed that the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras at a nearby supermarket in Kulambiro recorded the assailants.

Unfortunately, this video footage has since gone missing. The source said the server of the CCTV camera system at the supermarket (name withheld), where the footage had been captured, was stolen by unknown people a few days after the murder took place.

“The people at the supermarket told us that they actually saw the assailants on their CCTV cameras as they passed by on motorcycles.

But the supermarket was attacked and the server was taken by unknown people,” the source revealed.

However, ISO said it still has vital technical evidence that they believe can be helpful in any further investigation and prosecution of suspects in Kaweesi’s murder.

SCOTLAND YARD

The development came at a time when the National Security Council (NSC) endorsed an investigation by the British Police – the Scotland Yard – into Kaweesi’s murder.

The Scotland Yard will come up with a report which will decide the fate of senior Police and army officers accused of murdering Kaweesi.

“It will be the Scotland Yard findings that will determine whether the senior security officers arrested and detained will be charged with Kaweesi’s murder or not,” the source revealed.

The ISO boss, Col. (Rtd) Frank Bagyenda Kaka, last year confirmed that Scotland Yard would further probe Kaweesi’s murder.

This came at a time when a report by the NCS subcommittee recommended fresh investigations and analysis of an audio voice recording said to belong to the former Police chief, Gen. Kale Kayihura and the former Flying Squad Unit (FSU) head, Herbert Muhangi, linking them to the murder.

In the contentious audio tendered to the committee by ISO, Kayihura was reportedly recorded asking Muhangi whether Kaweesi was really dead, to which Muhangi allegedly responded; “yes, yes.”

The source added that lie detectors, which were not used by the NSC subcommittee while interfacing with implicated officers, will also be used in the fresh Scotland Yard investigations.

“There are also some crucial people who were not interrogated by the sub-committee who have been recommended to be interviewed.

Among them is Assistant Inspector General of Police Abas Byakagaba, who is said to have been the last person who talked to Kaweesi on phone, and the widow (Harriet), among others,” the source revealed.

ACCUSED OFFICERS

The ISO report implicated Kayihura, several senior Police officers and former FSU operatives in the murder of Kaweesi.

Although Kayihura was arrested on June 13, 2018, from his home at Kashagama in Lyantonde district, he was not charged with the murder of Kaweesi.

He was instead charged with failure to protect war materials before the General Court Martial in Makindye, Kampala. Under the charge of failure to protect war materials and others, the court chairman, Lt. Gen.

Andrew Gutti, informed Kayihura that he faces three counts — two of failure to protect war materials and one of aiding the kidnap and illegal repatriation of Rwandan nationals.

But the other officers accused in the ISO report are still in detention, although some of them have been charged.

They include Muhangi, Nickson Agasirwe who headed the Special Operations Unit (SOU), Col. Ndahura Atwooki who headed the Directorate of Crime Intelligence (DCI), and Kayihura’s former aide, Col. Peter Musherure.

Besides Kayihura, the Unit Disciplinary Committee chaired by Col. Tom Kabuye, last June charged Atwooki and Musherure with interfering with the process of law, contrary to Section 166 of the UPDF Act 2005.

They were remanded to Makindye military barracks, to date. Kayihura and Atwooki have since been released on bail, while Muhangi got released February 19, but he was rearrested.

Other accused officers are Richard Ndaboine, who headed the cyber-crime unit, former Professional Standards Unit (PSU) commandant Joel Aguma, as well as former FSU operatives Abel Kitagenda, Alex Tumukunde, and Faisal Katende, among others.

Another suspect, Jonathan Baroza, who was Kayihura’s aide, and is alleged to have scooped Kaweesi’s blood from the scene has since fled the country Nine other policemen, including Aguma and Agasirwe were also charged before the General Court Martial with kidnapping Rwandan refugees and repatriating them to Rwanda without their consent.

The policemen were charged together with a Rwandan army officer, Rene Rutagungira, and a Congolese, Pacifique Bahati Mugenga alias Ilunga Monga. They all denied the charges, and they were remanded to Luzira.

SUSPECTS ARRESTED, TORTURED

Before the Police officers were arrested, Police had apprehended dozens of suspects, the majority of them Muslims, over the murder of Kaweesi.

However, many of them have been released by court for lack of evidence linking them to the murder.

However, the Kamwenge Municipality mayor, Godfrey Byamukama, and some 22 suspects were tortured while in detention at the now disbanded Nalufenya detention facility in Jinja.

As a result, court awarded the 22 suspects sh80m in compensation, each, although government appealed the award.

Four policemen accused of torturing Byamukama were arrested and charged. They are, Assistant Superintendents of Police; Patrick Muramira and Fred Tumuhairwe together with constables Habib Roma and Ben Odeke.

Police also arrested Lt. Godfrey Musisi, together with his wife Grace, at their home in Namugongo, Wakiso district. Musisi, 54, is an ISO operative.

Musisi claimed the Police had promised him sh1b to pin the former security minister, Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde, in the murder of Kaweesi.

He said they tortured him when he turned down their proposal. However, the Police dismissed Musisi’s claim.


POLICE, ISO STANDOFF

The probe into the murder of Kaweesi took a new twist in October 2017, after Police and ISO clashed over the protection of Christine Muhooza Mbabazi, who was Kaweesi’s alleged mistress.

Although Police deployed seeking to guard her, Kaka refused, saying his investigations had shown that Mbabazi had vital information regarding Kaweesi’s murder and that some people could harm her.

KAWEESI’S FRIENDS

Kaweesi made many friends. Kaweesi left behind a heavily pregnant wife, who, a few days after his death, gave birth.

Besides President Yoweri Museveni offering to educate Kaweesi’s children, many of Kaweesi’s friends and relatives have continued to support the family.

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