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Kirumira Murder: Twists, turns of investigations

By Chris Kiwawulo

Added 8th September 2019 12:00 AM

Security agencies are still looking for several other suspects, some of whom are reported to be former Flying Squad Unit operatives

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Security agencies are still looking for several other suspects, some of whom are reported to be former Flying Squad Unit operatives

Today marks one year since the former Buyende district Police commander, Muhammad Kirumira, was shot dead near his home in Bulenga on Mityana Road.

Kirumira, who was a resident of Gogonya zone B in Bulenga, was shot alongside his female friend, Resty Mbabazi Nalinya, a mobile money dealer and neighbour. The policeman had given Nalinya a lift in his car — a navy blue Toyota Corona.

After being shot, Kirumira and Nalinya were rushed to Rubaga and Mulago hospitals respectively, but they were each pronounced dead on arrival.

Two people have so far been arrested and charged in courts of law over the murder. One other person was shot dead as he tried to escape arrest.

Hunt for suspects

Sources said security agencies are still looking for several other suspects, some of whom are reported to be former Flying Squad Unit (FSU) operatives.

Security sources had at the onset of the investigations pointed fingers at former FSU operatives, some of whom were also under investigation over other murders, but none of them has ever been arrested.

“Some of these former FSU operatives were implicated by former inmates, who claimed that most of the murders were planned with them from Luzira Prison. However, these operatives have since disappeared and some are reported to have crossed to neighbouring countries for refuge. But we are still looking for them,” a source, who declined to divulge names for fear of jeopardising investigations, said.

The operatives reportedly landed on this information after reports emerged that the motorcycles used by the assailants belonged to the Police and that some of the bikes had their registration number plates plucked off.

Today, however, this clue seems to have been abandoned after investigators arrested some suspects and had them arraigned before court. However, a security source insisted that they are still looking for the suspects.

According to sources, operatives landed on vital information where some of the suspects were reportedly receiving cash through mobile money ostensibly to facilitate the murder. This and more information is reportedly part of the evidence lined up to beef up the case against the suspects.

The murder

Kirumira was heading home shortly after attending a traditional wedding ceremony earlier in the day. The ceremony was at the house of a friend, Godfrey Musisi Galabuzi, on Entebbe road. Kirumira had earlier, on several occasions, complained of threats to his life.

Galabuzi, who was among the suspects arrested in connection with the murder of former Police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi, also said Kirumira had expressed fear for his life to him, especially after his woes in the Police.

Kirumira’s troubles started when he exposed rot in the institution. In a death that had characteristics similar to many others earlier, including that of Kaweesi, Kirumira was killed by men riding on motorcycles at around 9:00pm.

Although Police recorded statements from several witnesses, it took over a week for arrests to be effected.

The arrests

Following vital leads and a review of the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) camera footage obtained from the owner of a building near the crime scene, several people were arrested by security agencies.

The agencies comprised a team of operatives from the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), Internal Security Organisation (ISO) and the Police.

However, some of those arrested have since been released after investigators did not find any information linking them to the murder.

During one of the operations in October last year, in which Abubakar Kalungi was arrested, another suspect, identified as Abdu Kateregga, was shot at his home in Makindye as he allegedly tried to escape. Kateregga later died of injuries at Mulago Hospital.

He was reported to have been a former Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel, who had been granted amnesty.

However, he was linked to criminality in Kampala, including involvement in murders. Kalungi, 47, a carpenter and resident of Mirimu Zone in Makindye-Ssabagabo municipality, Wakiso district, was last October charged with Kirumira’s murder before Wakiso Grade One Magistrate’s Court.

In February suspect Hamza Mwebe a resident of Kigobe zone in Namungoona, Wakiso district, appeared before the same court and he was also charged with the murder of Kirumira. The court was presided over by Grade One magistrate Noah Sajjabi.

Prosecution alleges that on September 8, 2018, at about 8:00pm in Bulenga, Wakiso district, Kalungi and Mwebe, with others still at large, with malice aforethought, used a gun to murder Kirumira.

The suspects were not allowed to plead to the charges as they are capital in nature and are only triable by the High Court.

As of today, sources revealed that operatives are still investigating the Kirumira murder case since there are other suspects still at large who are believed to have participated in the murder.

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