Security teams apprehended three suspects basing on evidence gathered from the earlier arrest of three other people, bringing to six the number of those in Police custody.
CRIME | MURDER
KAMPALA - Police have said they now have six suspects in their custody following the arrest of three people on Sunday believed to be prime suspects in the kidnap and murder of social worker Maria Nagirinya and her driver, Ronald Kitayimbwa.
Nagirinya was kidnapped from the gate to her home in Lungujja-Busega, killed, before her body was dumped in Mukono district.
Earlier on Monday, a source privy to the ongoing investigations had told New Vision that “three prime suspects that orchestrated the kidnap of Nagirinya and her driver were picked Sunday night by a joint team of investigators".
The team comprised the Police’s Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID), Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) and the Internal Security Organisation (ISO).
The source said the suspects were being held at CMI facility in Kireka – as security agencies "process them" to end a one-week manhunt for the killers.
CMI holds suspects at the Police Special Investigations Division, a facility known for detaining hardcore criminals.
While addressing a press conference at the Police headquarters in Naguru later on Monday, Police spokesperson Fred Enanga confirmed the development.
He told reporters that they had arrested the three suspects built on the evidence gathered from the earlier arrest of three other suspects, including boda boda riders.
Last week, Police released closed circuit television (CCTV) footage that showed a man behind the steering wheel in Nagirinya’s car.
In a statement sent to the media, the deputy Police spokesperson, Polly Namaye, said they (Police) and sister security agencies retrieved CCTV images showing incidents that occurred prior to and after the kidnapping of Nagirinya and Kitayimbwa.
The footage was captured by cameras along the Kinawataka road that connects to the Kampala-Jinja Highway and the suburbs of Kireka.
“This is, therefore, to appeal to the public and any other person(s) who have useful information leading to the arrest of this suspect in the pictures to contact the nearest Police station or call telephone numbers: 0714667793/ 0714668079/0714668105 or tollfree 0800909990/ 800121222,” the statement read.
The breakthrough followed the arrest of a woman, Fortune Ayebare Mugisha, who reportedly was in constant communication with a suspect linked to the killers, according to sources.
Without divulging details, Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire confirmed that Mugisha had been arrested and dispelled reports that she had been kidnapped.
“The woman (Mugisha) was arrested and is in safe custody. Her parents were also informed accordingly,” Owoyesigyire said.
Preliminary findings indicate that Nagirinya and her driver were killed in the car while being driven away by their abductors.
This type of murder in a moving car is fairly new and was first reported in May when kidnappers laid a trap for businessman Wilber Majanja, 54, who was the kingpin in the Nakaseke district cattle trade for decades.
The abductors blocked Majanja with a truck and a motorcycle before grabbing him. The businessman was shoved into their waiting saloon car before they sped off, according to eyewitnesses in Matugga, Wakiso district, where the incident happened.
Police say Majanja was pounded in the stomach several times and strangled while in the moving car as they drove towards Sanga.
Whereas the motive of Nagirinya and her driver’s murder remains unclear, Police say that her car had bloodstains in it, among other evidence recovered.
Police have so far recorded statements from several people, including Nagirinya’s family members and co-workers. However, contrary to reports, her husband Edgar Gateni, was yet to record a statement.
Sources revealed that using camera footage, detectives are still following the routes that the killers used from Lungujja-Busega, the kidnap point, to the area where the bodies were dumped in Mukono district.
Earlier, three suspects were arrested in connection with the murder. Seven other people are also being held for trying to obstruct the Police as they arrested one of the three murder suspects.
The three suspects reportedly include a bodaboda rider believed to have transported the kidnappers to Nagirinya’s home in Lungujja. Police have not disclosed the identities of the suspects.
Besides, over a dozen Police officers were also arrested following complaints from Nagirinya’s relatives that when they reported the kidnap to the Police, they received no attention, which frustrated any efforts to save Nagirinya.
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