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Evidence against Gen. Kale Kayihura falters

By Vision Reporter

Added 2nd November 2018 03:38 PM

ISO’s key piece of evidence was the voice recording of a conversation allegedly between Kayihura and ACP Herbert Muhangi, the then Flying Squad Unit (FSU) commandant, where allegedly Kayihura appeared to thank Muhangi for the murder.

Evidence against Gen. Kale Kayihura falters

ISO’s key piece of evidence was the voice recording of a conversation allegedly between Kayihura and ACP Herbert Muhangi, the then Flying Squad Unit (FSU) commandant, where allegedly Kayihura appeared to thank Muhangi for the murder.

Following investigations by the Internal Security Organisation (ISO), former Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura and a number of senior Police officers were arrested in connection with the assassination of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi.

Kayihura was charged before the aiding and abetting kidnap. The National Security Council (NSC) sub-committee subsequently commissioned a joint investigation to review the evidence presented by ISO on the Kaweesi murder that implicated Kayihura.

Kaweesi was gunned down in March 2017 near his home in Kulambiro, a Kampala suburb, together with his bodyguard, Kenneth Erau and driver, Godfrey Mambewa. In total, ISO presented 16 witnesses to be interviewed by a joint team of officers from ISO, CMI and Police. One witness claimed to have participated in the planning and murder of Kaweesi. General Court Martial, but on charges of failure to protect war materials and repatriating refugees.

However, the probbe committe has found holes into the information linking Gen. Kale Kayihura into the murder of Andrew Felix Kaweesi.

ISO's key piece of evidence was the voice recording of a conversation allegedly between Kayihura and ACP Herbert Muhangi, the then Flying Squad Unit (FSU) commandant, where allegedly Kayihura appeared to thank Muhangi for the murder. The audio was presented by Simon Peter Odongo, an ISO operative attached to the security agency's cybercrime unit.

According to the recording, Kayihura asked Muhangi: "Is Andrew Felix Kaweesi dead?" and Muhangi answered; "Oh yes, yes" and Kayihura concluded by saying, "Thank you very much." The joint team's report says the witness (Odongo) presented a report authenticating the audio recording addressed to ISO boss Col. Kaka Bagyenda from Makerere University.

However, the author of the Makerere report is not indicated both by name and qualifications, methods used to arrive at the conclusion as is always the case with experts' reports and it (report) has no reference. While there is indication that a voice sample of Kayihura was provided to the Makerere expert, it was not indicated how the voice sample of Kayihura was obtained.

There is no indication that the sample voice for Muhangi was provided for comparison. The audio clip analysed lasted five seconds, whereas the original audio clip presented by Odongo was for seven seconds, which implies that it was compromised. The team says the submission of the audio clip to Makerere was done against the earlier agreed position that the audio clip be availed to the investigating team for onward submission to an identified voice expert for analysis.

ISO also submitted the same audio to Nemesysco Company in Israel for further analysis. Nemesysco is a company that sells voice analysis programmes marketed for fraud prevention, the detection of emotion, stress management and other purposes, the team explains. The team queried authenticity of the report from Nemesysco Company because the organisation sells voice analysing programmes, but does not analyse the voices themselves.

The team said Odongo declined to hand over the voice recording, but kept on processing the evidence by himself, including submitting the voice recording to Nemesysco.

The two reports, the team says, had inconsistences, yet one would simply corroborate the other if the two came from voice experts. For the Makerere report, the length of the content of the voice analysed was five seconds, while that for the report from Israel was seven seconds, which raises a question of authenticity of voices submitted to the two experts by ISO.

According to the joint team's report, in the Makerere report, the content of the audio recording is: ‘Is Andrew Felix Kaweesi dead?" to which Muhangi responded "Oh yes". In the report from Israel: Kayihura allegedly asked; "Is Andrew Felix Kaweesi dead?", to Muhangi purportedly responded; "Oh yes yes". Whereas in the Makerere report it is stated that, "Yes" was heard once and the second "yes" heard is an echo, in the Israel report, "Yes" is taken to have been said twice "Yes Yes".

This, according to the team, casts doubt on the authenticity of the experts' reports not coming to the same conclusion. Furthermore, the Makerere report quotes Muhangi as saying "he is done" while answering another question from Kayihura. But in the Israel report, he purportedly said "It is done". "This raises strong doubts in the two experts as they both failed to reach a similar conclusion and corroborate each other," says the joint team.

The team further observed that the methods of obtaining the evidence can only pass the legal test if it is backed by other corroborative evidence. "In both reports, the voice recording was translated and transcribed, not analysed," it added. Odongo told the team that the audio was extracted through a close covert data mining from Thuraya system that took place after a period of eight months from March 17, 2017.

But according to the team, the global system for mobile communications (GSM) and satellite do not store any call recording (data) unless it is configured in a system for a specific target. "This means that it is practically impossible for audio data to be on the system stored for eight months in case it ever happened," the team said.

According to the team, cyber audio procedures provide that when an audio recording is intercepted, it should be kept in a raw form as extracted so that an independent expert can analyse it and reach an objective conclusion. But in this case, Odongo alleged that he cleaned the original recording which had lasted 16 minutes and only retained seven seconds of the audio.

 "This makes it practically impossible for an expert to analyse this audio if he cannot interrogate the source and come up with the same since we were never provided with the raw audio data," the team added, saying "this left a big question on the authenticity of the audio recording."

Odongo claimed to have acquired his degree from Belford University in the UK. But the team found out that Belford University was an online institution that offered unaccredited degrees for "life experience" and was run from an apartment in Karachi, Pakistan. The university was shut down on August 31, 2012 as one of the biggest online education scams.

He is one of the key witnesses presented by ISO. Rwogamutyarize said his first contact with Kayihura was when he was introduced to him by Cpl Livingstone Senyondo in the office of the Wakiso district Police commander (DPC), only identified as ASP Ssekamanya.

However, investigations established that Kayihura throughout his term in office never visited Wakiso Police Station. This was further confirmed by Ssekamanya who was by then DPC Wakiso. Kayihura only visited Wakiso during the rampant murders of women and burial of the late George William Kakoma.

The ISO witness claimed the shooting started from 7:40am to 7:52am, lasting 12 minutes. But according to eyewitnesses, the shooting took place from around 9:00am. This is confirmed by the call data records from Kaweesi's phone number, which clearly indicate that at the time of the shooting (9:17am) he was in communication with AIGP Abbas Byakagaba, the director of Counter Terrorism.

It was alleged that Kimbowa was part of the assassination team, but call data records show that he left his home in Nansana for Mubende at 6:30am and returned from Mubende at 5:00pm.

Rwogamutyarize alleged that after hiring the motorcycles, they were taken to the home of Agasiirwe in Kololo for custody until the day of the murder. However, the joint team established that Agasiirwe is a resident of Kiyinda zone, Kira Municipality and not Kololo. The building in Kololo that the witness showed the joint verification team was once an office for Special Operations Unit, which was closed in 2016 and the house reverted to the owner.

At that time of the murder, Agasiirwe was at the Police Senior Command and Staff College at Bwebajja.

Alleged motorcycle hire at Ndeeba
Rwogamutyarize also alleges that on March 14, 2017 himself, Muhangi and Kimbowa were involved in the hiring of motorcycles, which transported the killers to and from the scene from Ndeeba. However, the verification team that visited Ndeeba in company of the witness established that that shop in question; Kyaterekera Auto Parts, owned by Lozio Mugerwa, deals in only motorcycle spare parts.

According to the report, Mugerwa denied ever meeting the witness and has neither dealt in motorcycle hire business nor the sale of complete motorcycle units. The alleged second rider, Kimbowa, denied ever going to Ndeeba to hire motorcycles. The call data records showed that on the alleged date Kimbowa and Muhangi were not in Ndeeba.

Other incidents involving Rwogamutyarize
Rwogamutyarize alleged that he had previously reported incidents of transporting illegal guns to Buziga and Namugongo for purposes of staging a rebellion against the Government to the Wakiso district internal security officer (DISO), military intelligence officers and Muhangi. However, according to the Wakiso deputy DISO, when he arranged for an operation, on the date of the operation, Rwogamutyarize switched off his phones and has since never surfaced. Rwogamutyarize gave the same information to some officers at the CMI- Col B Monday and Maj. Martin Nsengiyunva, but they found his information not credible.

Rwogamutyarize took the same information to one Kitagenda, by then head of Flying Squad Kawempe, who subsequently reported to Muhangi who sanctioned the operations. When the FSU operatives intercepted the vehicle carrying the alleged guns, it was discovered that the suspects were private security guards from SWAT Security Company, who had been deployed to guard a bank in the city centre.

"They had put their guns in the vehicle's boot and on questioning revealed that it was the witness (Rwogamutyarize) who had mobilised them from their guard points to go to Namugongo for robbery of money from a home only known by the witness," says the report.

Satellite phones evidence
According to Rwogamutyarize, there were nine satellite phones, which were used during the murder operation. However, Odongo identified only seven satellite phones active at Kulambiro. He, however, concentrated on one satellite phone on which he intercepted communications between 0392963 956 and 0792498484, which belonged to Muhangi and Kayihura respectively. It is through the interception of the communication between the two phones that the voice recording was retrieved.

However, Odongo does not say anything on investigations on other satellite phones identified to have been active at the scene and neither does he explain what prompted him to concentrate on the satellite phone that connected the two telephone numbers. The ISO witness claimed the satellite phone called telephone number 0392963956, which in turn initiated a call to 0792498484.

However, according to call data records of 0792498484 belonging to Kayihura, there is no indication that he received any call from 0392963956 belonging to Muhangi on that date. The ISO witness claimed the voice recording was intercepted between 8:14am and 8:30am on the morning of March 17, 2017 and this call lasted 16 minutes. But call data records confirm the time of shooting to be around 9:16am.

This implies that the conversation from which the voice was retrieved occurred before the murder. The call data records of 0792498484 and 0392963956 indicate that there was no call between these two numbers on March 17, 2017, which leaves the source of the audio suspect to voice-shopping, says the joint team. Nnyindo on alleged vehicle repair Nnyindo claimed that together with his colleague Mukwasi, they arrived at Kulambiro at around 6:30am to repair a vehicle which had broken down.

He claimed that during the process of repairing the vehicle, they witnessed the attack and consequent killing of Kaweesi and that they had even video recorded the whole incident using their phone. But there was no single witness at the scene interviewed by the joint team who had knowledge of a broken down vehicle at the time of the shooting.

The team said it was difficult to believe the evidence by Nnyindo that the telephone handset used to video record the incident was allegedly confiscated by Kayihura when they appeared before him at the Police headquarters. "The witness could not even provide the registration number of the vehicle or even its owner's details," the report adds.

The team noted that the vehicle that was allegedly being repaired was about 800 metres away from the crime scene with sharp bends and buildings in between. Did ISO fabricate evidence? According to the report by the joint team, some witnesses presented by ISO during interrogations revealed that they were coached by the security agency (ISO).

Mbabazi alleged that Kaka promised to exonerate her from the allegations that she participated in the murder of Kaweesi if she accepted to implicate Kayihura. She also alleged that a one Lt. Juuko is behind the allegations that she participated in the murder of Kaweesi. Another witness, Kimbowa, alleged that Paddy Sserunjonji alias Sobi convinced him to accept and implicate Kayihura and others in the murder of Kaweesi and share a sh4b reward.

Katende alleged that after he had been released on bail from Makindye, he met Kaka, through a local artiste Dan Kazibwe alias Raggae Dee at Serene Suites Hotel in Mutundwe and was convinced to accept and implicate Kayihura and others in the murder of Kaweesi. "Kaka promised that he would influence the withdrawal of charges against him at Makindye Court and that his (Katende) life would be made better.

Kaka also cautioned him that he would rot in prison if he declined to comply," excerpts of Katende's statement. Kati Kati Restaurant meeting Rwogamutyarize alleged that there was a final preparatory meeting for the murder of Kaweesi on March 17, 2017 at 2:00am at Kati Kati Restaurant, which he attended with the suspects Ndahura, Mwesigwa, Muhangi, Baroza, Agasiirwe and others. However, call data records before and after the murder of Kaweesi showed that Rwogamutyarize himself was at Kigoma in Wakiso district the whole day.

He never picked any mast in areas of Kampala until March 28, 2017, when he went through Ntinda to Mbuya. This was the same day he was arrested from Nansana and taken to Mbuya on mistaken identity of Bruhan Balyejusa, one of the prime suspects in the murder of Kaweesi. The call data shows that Muhangi, the subscriber of telephone number 0702655052, was in Kasokoso from mid-night between 12:45am to 7:05am, his place of residence then.

Muhangi left home at 9:41am through Mbuya, Bugolobi, Naguru, Bukoto, Kisaasi and arrived at Kulambiro at 10:24am, where he stayed up to 5:50pm. So, he could not have attended the alleged meeting at Kati Kati. Another suspect Ndahura, subscriber of telephone numbers 0702418428/0772418428, was at the time in Masindi, having left Kampala on March 15, 2017 at 5:00pm. He stayed in Masindi up March 17, 2017 until 6:02pm, when he picked Wabigalo on his way back to Kampala.

Ndahura reached Nansana- Masitoowa at 9:19pm, which is his place of residence and stayed there up to morning; thus he could not have attended the alleged meeting at Kati Kati. Mwesigwa, subscriber of telephone number 0717777070, was on March 16, 2017 at 9:48pm in Kiteezi, which is his place of residence.

He left home at 9:11am through Kungu, Kisaasi, Ntinda and moved to Kulambiro, where he arrived at 9:36am; thus he could not have attended the alleged meeting. The call data records show that by 7:00am on March 17, 2017, Agasiirwe was at Dundu Bwebajja and at 9:30am moved from Dundu through Busega, Kalerwe and finally reached Kulambiro at 10:30am.

He was also a student at Police Staff College Bwebajja at the time of the murder. Ndaboine, subscriber of telephone number 0703000048, was on March 16, 2017, in Dundu, Bwebajja, the whole day. On March 17, 2017 he left the school at 9:59am through Kitende, Busega, Bwaise, Mulago Nsooba and finally arrived at Kulambiro at 10:49am.

Thus he could not have attended the alleged meeting, according to the joint team's report. Kimbowa, also a suspect and subscriber of telephone number 0756 673 893, was on March 16, 2017 at his home in Bwaise up to 7:36am of March 17, 2017, when he moved from Bwaise to Mubende where he arrived by 11:45am.

He spent the entire day in Mubende and came back in the evening at 5:29pm of the same day. There is no indication that he was at Kati Kati or went to Kulambiro on that date. Kitagenda, the subscriber of telephone number 0701430151, was on March 16, 2017 at 9:13pm at Nakwero-Kasangati, which is his place of residence.

On March 17, 2017 at 7:33am, he left home, went through Kayebe, Gayaza, Mpererwe, Kyebando, Kisaasi and arrived at Kulambiro at 10:54am, where he stayed up to 12:27pm.

He could not have attended the meeting at Kati Kati as alleged by Odongo. Tumukunde, the subscriber of telephone number 0702116133, was on March 16, 2017 at 11:54pm in vicinity of Mbuya Hill mast near his place of residence — Kasokoso. He left home at 9:59am through Kyambogo, Kireka, Kyaliwajala, Kiwatule and arrived at Kulambiro at 10:46am.

Thus he could not have attended the alleged meeting. Baroza, the subscriber of telephone number 0712667734, was on March 16, 2017 at 11:08pm, picking Najjera 2 mast, which is in the vicinity of his place of residence where he stayed up to morning. He left home at 9:09am through Kiwatule, Kyambogo and then to Kulambiro, where he arrived at 9:36am; thus he could not have attended the alleged meeting.

Bakaleke, the subscriber of telephone number 0714667772, was on March 16, 2017 at 9:07pm, picking Ntinda 2 mast and on March 17, 2017 at 8:02am, was picking Nakawa 1 mast, then Lugogo 3 mast at 9:21am. He then picked Speke Road mast, Simbamanyo House, which are around his place of work at CPS Kampala. He left CPS at 10:52am, through Kyebando and arrived at Kulambiro at 11:28am; thus he could not have attended the alleged meeting. Findings and recommendations.

 After evaluating the evidence presented by ISO, the joint team of CMI and Police concluded that there is no credible evidence so far to sustain charges against the suspects under investigation for the murder of Kaweesi, Erau and Mambewa. The team said the voice recording presented as a key piece of evidence should be subjected to further scientific analysis by a competent and independent voice expert to verify its authenticity.

The team agreed that Kayihura be reinterviewed again, experts get the voice sample of the general (Kayihura) and Muhangi as they get an expert that can analyse the audio recording presented by ISO and verify the credibility of Nemesysco organisation in Israel.

It was also agreed that photographs of suspects and witnesses be taken. The team recommended that the information available, coupled with the credibility of the key witness testimonies, is insufficient to prefer and sustain charges for the murder of Kaweesi and others against the suspects (Kayihura and group) under investigation.

The team said ISO witness Rwogamutyarize and Nnyindo should be charged with giving false information to public officials so as to send a strong warning to other information peddlers who have made it a habit of earning a living through peddling information to security agencies. Security agencies should verify sources and accuracy of information before considering the information for operation purposes. Alleged scooping of blood-soaked soil at the scene.

According to the ISO witness, he saw Baroza scoop fresh blood from the scene on March 17, 2017 before other people reached there. But all other witnesses, including Judas Tadeo Opendi (Baroza's bodyguard at the time) who did the scooping, confirmed that the incident took place in the evening of the following day (March, 18 2017).

Christine Umuhooza Mbabazi
The joint team said the only relevance of Mbabazi in this case is her alleged suspicion that Kayihura was responsible for the death of Kaweesi because she allegedly received an audio recording from Kaweesi before the murder. "That the late used to confide in her expressing fear for his life because of Kayihura. However, all the above lack supporting evidence to render the witness and her testimony credible," the team said.

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