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Four arrested over phone calls made at time of Gen Katumba’s shooting

Gen Katumba Wamala minutes after the incident. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Four people have reportedly been arrested by the Joint Intelligence Committee –JIC over the repeated calls they allegedly made before, during and after the shooting of former Chief of Defence Forces Gen Edward Katumba Wamala.

Gen Katumba’s vehicle H4DF 2138 was riddled with bullets on Tuesday in Kisaasi, a suburb of Kampala in an attack that claimed the life of his daughter Brenda Nantongo and driver Haruna Kayondo. Gen Katumba survived with bullet wounds.

Sources at Joint Intelligence and Joint Operation Committees have intimated to Uganda Radio Network-URN that two of the Closed Circuit Television cameras showed the alleged assailants seemingly speaking on phone as they fled the scene. As a result, the intelligence teams comprising the military and the police secured printouts of all telephone calls made minutes before, during and after the attack on Gen Katumba’s vehicle.

It is reported that out of the many calls made between 8:25 am and 9:15 am, four people were in constant contact. “We resolved to get telephone print outs of all nearby telecom masts. We noticed that four people were in constant communication at the time of the incident and we tracked the owners and arrested them,” a source said.

The source said JIC has detained the four suspects at Special Investigations Division – SID in Kireka. Besides the four suspects, sources have revealed that seven other people who were mostly witnesses of the shooting were picked and interrogated by both intelligence and operation teams.

“I can confirm that seven people were picked up by the joint intelligence network. I am not sure whether they have been released but they were interrogated by CMI. These people claimed to have seen everything as it unfolded including cars that surveyed the area,” the source said.

Meanwhile, security team have launched a search for CCTV footage on private homes in Bukoto, where two of the suspects on motorcycles disappeared from. Other security personnel are combing homes along Kikulu zone to get footage since one of the motorcycles is said to have taken that route.



  1. Motive for the assassination of Uganda’s General Katumba Wamala
    Without beating around the bush, I would speculate that General Wamala Katumba’s assassination attempt was orchestrated by Rwanda. Attempts to blame ADF rebels and others are just deflections. Why would I think it was Rwanda?

    1 – Building of roads in DRC and Tanzania. Uganda has embarked on aggressive plans to supposedly build roads for trade in DRC and Tanzania, and yet within Uganda, there are roads that urgently need building. So, what are Uganda’s motives for building these roads other than for trade? The western proposed road from Bunagana to Goma in DRC, forms a route that runs west of Rwanda, which will completely block Rwanda’s western border access to DRC. The eastern proposed road passing through Tanzania from Kitagate in Uganda via Karage in Tanzania to Kobero in Burundi, will effectively block Rwanda’s eastern border access to the rest of Tanzania. Its border to the North will be with hostile Uganda, and its border to the south with hostile Burundi. Rwanda will be boxed in and only left with 60 Km of border from Ruziz-1 to Rukuna-1 with the DRC. Rwanda, is not comfortable with what could be future security arrangement details with Uganda for these road constructions, as rumors have surfaced that the firm contracted to build these roads is out shopping for military equipment. All these road plans follow the high-level visits of DRC, Tanzania, Burundi presidents to Uganda. In recent developments, Uganda has already started moving military equipment and personnel as well as setting up military bases in DRC in the name of a joint operation to fight Ugandan ADF rebels.

    2 – Revival of Uganda Airlines. Contrary to believe, I think, the revival of Uganda Airlines was not primarily for the benefit of easing travel for Ugandans as there were several airlines already providing travel, with most of these airlines running losses. However, the revival was to curtail Rwanda’s increasing influence over Uganda through Rwandair. Rwandair for years had been running losses in the millions of dollars as it very often undercut pricing for flights to Uganda to become a leading airline to and from Uganda. Uganda had already accused Rwanda of spying and was not comfortable with Rwandair’s influence and access to its dignitaries who often found every lame excuse to fly abroad.

    3 – Corruption at Uganda Airlines. At the time of Wamala’s attempted assassination, Wamala was the minister in charge of investigating the corruption and theft of funds within Uganda Airlines. These too could have created enemies for him, within Uganda and the top Uganda government cabal that looted Uganda Airlines. Then there was the Issue of Ephraim Bagenda the former CEO of Uganda Airlines who was also a director with RwandAir. Bagenda had been accused by elements within Uganda Airlines as being compromised by Rwanda. They claimed Bagenda was an agent of Rwanda, to the point of even claiming he was of Rwandan decent. Hence his sitting atop Uganda Airlines could should be treated as a security threat. The replacement of Bagenda with Cornwal Muleya as CEO was rigged with intrigue.

    4 – General Wamala’s ministerial docket and security Implication to Uganda. Wamala is the Minister in charge that attended all the meetings regarding the building of these Roads and was also the one tasked with the building of these roads. Wamala is also the Minister in charge of Uganda Airlines. General Wamala was Uganda’s chief of the army as well as Police chief. These are the highest organs of Ugandan security. It is unlikely that for over 50 bullets to have been fired in a duration of over 5 minutes through a bullet proof less car window that only slight injuries befell the intended target to his arm. While killing two and one escapes completely unhurt. Contrary to public opinion, I don’t think they intended to kill Wamala, they just want to scare him as well as cause individual fear by killing his daughter as a deterrent to any high-level Ugandans involved in building of these roads.

    In conclusion, by attempting to assassinate Wamala, who has achieved and has been entrusted with one of the highest echelons in Uganda’s security, Rwanda is sending out a strong psychological message to Uganda, that Uganda’s security is vulnerable, and that Rwanda will not sit idly by, while Uganda sounds the drums of war in an attack that would economically and strategically box and suffocate Rwanda as a land locked country.

  2. Tunku Abdul Rahman

    Very interesting. Replace Rwanda with Uganda’s Deep State.

  3. In conspiracy theory, there is a tendency to blame the deep state for such actions as murder of its own Generals. But I highly doubt the that Uganda state had a hand in the assassination of the General Wamala.

    But from my own analysis, the state was even more shocked, alarmed and taken completely unaware. The Uganda state security apparatus system is in disarray and practically useless to handle any assassinations other than that of the president and his family. The state security apparatus is simply made to protect the president only, other Ugandan? Good luck!!!.

    Strategic positions within the Uganda security system is assigned based on perceived loyalty to the president rather than merit of the individual officer. Security systems should also cater to protect the citizens of its country. The numbers of all these high profile assassinations is a clear indicator that the security system is broken for the regular Ugandan.

    The arrest of 4 individuals that made phone calls at the time, and within the vicinity of General Wamala’s assassination, is just a mere formality to appease the public. The four or seven were released immediately on supposedly bail. Do you believe that, if they had any incriminating evidence, these people would be released on bail?

    Even any Idiot or third rate assassin knows not to use their mobile phone to co-ordinate an assassination, especially of a 4 star General, let alone use their mobile phone within the vicinity of the attack. Every Ugandan knows that the Uganda Govt has devices to monitor, track and record mobile phones. The Government Agencies have announced their tracking ability so many times while warning VPN users. Have you ever been around any of these useless Ugandan Government officials with the big fat pot bellies? they are all paranoid, thinking that their devices are being monitored or tracked by the Uganda security apparatus. So would be assassins, would not even dare use mobile phones.

    The theory that ballistic evidence has matched the shooting Gun, to the same Gun used by ADF rebels to kill their former Commander is another hog wash story which points to the fact that the Ugandan security were taken unaware. Again ADF are rebels with many guns under their disposal, they are aware of the Uganda Govt ballistic finger printing database, and aware that the murder of the ADF commander’s ballistic report was with the security system, do you think they would use the same Gun already imprinted by security?

    While watching the sad, sad video of the General Wamala, shot, bleeding, shocked and confused. He appeared to have forgotten his training. The general paced there at the scene of his attempted assassination, crying, grieving for his daughter, exposing himself to a possible second wave of assassination, I cried tears.

    It was obvious that there was something wrong with Uganda security system from the lack of response of the Uganda security to the scene. It would appear that the security system was crippled from inaction and could not respond because they thought the General Wamala’s assassination was ordered by the state. No security personal in his right mind would want to to respond without getting authorization from way higher up the ladder.
    The Uganda security response must have been in disarray, similar to the one in the USA of 6th/Jan/2020 when rioters stormed Washington, The Washington police leadership command was in disarray as they were seeking orders from up top.

    So trying to blame the deep state of Uganda for attempting to assassinate general Wamala does not hold any water.

  4. For me l think, there are people out there not happy with the fact that H. E Museveni is stiil ruling Uganda. So, all those who have praised H. E Museveni have become a target. Connel Abiriga, Maj. Kigundu, Afande Kaweesi and etcetera.

  5. .
    Imagine an ageing President seeking a ”suitable” lapdog successor and trying his best to point Ugandans to his stooge, son…. call it whatever you want.
    But Ugandans (contrary to the ageing dictator’s whim) are continuing to look to alternatives including a very down to earth, humane and approachable popular former army officer.

    Obviously this is a cocktail for disaster in any Stalinist state. Indeed, bullets are bound to fly all over the scene.
    I’m just thinking aloud.


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