Were dozens of earlier suspects in Kiggundu, Kaweesi murders arrested on speculation?
Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Three days ago, deputy Inspector General of Police, Maj Gen Paul Lokech, released a statement revealing Huzaifa Wampa alias Kanaabe as the 12th suspects in the shooting of Gen Edward Katumba Wamala.
Gen Katumba’s official military car was riddled with bullets on June 1st on Kisota road at around 8:47am to 9am leaving his daughter, Brenda Nantongo and his driver Haruna Kayondo dead on spot. A joint intelligence and investigations team was set up supervised by Maj Gen Lokech to hunt for the attackers.
Lokech has consistently said the 12 suspects in Gen Katumba’s attack, four of whom have since been shot dead, were responsible for 14 murders including the November 26, 2016 killing of Maj Muhammad Kiggundu alongside his bodyguard Sgt Stephen Mukasa at Masanafu trading centre in Lubaga division and the murder of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi alongside his bodyguard Cpl Kenneth Erau and driver Cpl Godfrey Mambewa at Kulambiro road in Nakawa division in Kampala on March 17, 2017.
So far eight suspects charged are: Huzaifa Wampa alias Kanaabe, Kamada Walusimbi alias Mudinka, Muhammad Kagugube alias Musiramu, Siriman Ayuub Kisambira alias Mukwasi, Abdulaziz Ramathan Dunku, Habib Marjan, Sheik Yusuf Siraji Nyanzi and Hussein Sserubula alias Imam Muto. The four killed suspects include Hussein Lubwama alias Master, Mustafa Ramadan Kawawa alias Amin, Idri Juma Sserwadda and Juma Saidi.
Lokech insists that all the charged and deceased suspects admitted to having participated in gun killings of 14 people. This group, according to Lokech, is coordinated by one Sheikh Abu Ubaida Badir Diin Bukenya. Security has since put a 20 million shillings bounty on Sheikh Bukenya’s head.
“Our focus now shifts to tracking down the overall coordinator of the domestic terror cells, a one SHEIKH ABU UBAIDA BADIR DIIN BUKENYA,” Lokech said. “He has been actively recruiting assailants and reactivating the terror cells. We have widely shared his photos and put out a reward for any one with credible information that can lead to his arrest.”
Maj Gen Lokech’s insistance that the suspects in Gen Katumba’s attack are responsible for murdering Maj Kiggundu and AIGP Kaweesi leaves the public wondering on what basis the many suspects were arrested in the same murders more than three years ago.
Under the stewardship of then Inspector General of Police, Gen Edward Kale Kayihura, security arrested and charged 25 suspects in two separate murders of Maj Kiggundu and AIGP Kaweesi. Gen Kayihura on April 24, 2017 issued a statement indicating that 13 suspects had been arrested over killing AIGP Kaweesi.
“As you aware, we have already taken 13 suspects involved in the murder of the late AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi, his driver PC Godfrey Mambewa and his body guard CPL Kenneth Erau,” Gen Kayihura said then.
Seven months after taking over from Gen Kayihura as IGP, Martin Ochola, in October 2018 reaffirmed security progress in arresting and charging suspects in AIGP Kaweesi and Maj Kiggundu murders, thuse:
“I would like to highlight on the progress of Police investigations pertaining to the following cases: Murder of major Mohammed Kiggundu and Sgt Mukasa Steven. Seven suspects were arrested and have been committed to High Court for trial. Murder of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi, Cpl Erau Kenneth and driver Mambewa Godfrey. Eight suspects were committed to High Court for trial.”
The suspects who had been arrested in AIGP Kaweesi murder included Abdu Rashid Mbazira, Buyondo Mohammed, Higenyi Aramazan Noor Din, Mugerwa Yusuf aka Wilson, Bruhan Balyejusa, Maganda Umar Aramathan, Ahamada Senfuka Shaban, Hassan Tumusiime, Ibrahim Kiisa, Osman Mohammed Omarete, Magambo Hamidu, Abdu Majid Ojerere, Kyambadde Joshua Magezi and Musa Ntende Abubaker.
The group was charged with Terrorism contrary to section 7 (1) (a) and 2 (b) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2002; Murder contrary to section 188 and 189 of the Penal Code Act; and Aggravated Robbery contrary to section 285 and 286 of the Penal Code Act.
The suspects who had been arrested in Maj Kiggundu’s murder include Abdulaziz Abdushakur Musoke, Sulaiman Wayaba, Bashir Nyangisho, Sulait Lukwago Majid, Alqaeda Abasi Fikil Yusuf, Abubaker Katende , Lukia Namulondo, Malik Ssenabulya, Yasin Kaggwa Galiwango, Usama Mugozi, Asuman Musijjo, Malik Ssenabulya,Asuman Musijjo, Alqaeda Abasi Fikil Yusuf and Abubaker Katende was returned to Luzira as he is still facing other charges.
Nevertheless, courts have released most of the suspects in Maj Kiggundu and AIGP Kaweesi murders either on bail or after the Directorate of Public Prosecution –DPP filed a Nolle Prosequi discontinuing proceedings against all the accused persons.
The DPP Justice Jane Frances Abodo on February 19, 2021 wrote to court: “Take notice that the government of Uganda intends that the proceedings against the group charged with aiding and abetting terrorism and belonging or professing to belong to a terrorist group organization and rendering support to a terrorist organization shall not continue.”
Court immediately released 11 suspects in Kiggundu murder. All the above raise questions why security arrests so many people without enough proof even to linking them to the crimes.