Angry mourners today chased away Internal Affairs minister Gen Jeje Odongo and police spokesperson Emilian Kayima from the burial of former Buyende district police commander Muhammad Kirumira.
Tension and tempers were raised early on as soon as President Yoweri Museveni made his way to the scene of crime yesterday night in Bulenga at around 11.52pm - just a few hours after the police officer and his friend Resty Mbabazi Nalinya had been gunned down.
Museveni was heckled at by angry residents, who, accused his government of failing to protect the maverick former police boss. And, today morning tempers were raised even further when police was blocked from accessing the home of the fallen police officer in Bulenga.
Mourners accused police ‘kawukumi’ (weevils) of killing Kirumira. Kawukumi was a reference used by President Museveni to refer to the rogue police officers following his sacking of Gen Kale Kayihura as police chief earlier this year.
Kirumira was a vocal critic of Kayihura’s police leadership, who he accused of presiding over a corrupt police force that instead of preventing criminality was working in collusion with the criminals.
From police, mourners only accepted former operations commander for Kampala region ASP Sam Omala into his home in Bulenga that police once broke into to flush him out on February 1, 2018 to take him to the police disciplinary court.
Chanting ‘People Power, Our People’ slogans, mourners in Bulenga threatened to stone any police officer who dared show up at his home. Police wisely retreated but the stoning threat came to fruition when mourners pelted stones at Odongo and Kayima.
Although Odongo had been reluctantly allowed by mourners at the burial venue in Mpambire, all hell broke loose when Kayima made it to the burial grounds. First heckled and asked to leave, it was a rain of stones pelted in the direction of the two officials who ran for dear life.
But opposition politicians including former Forum for Democratic Change party president Kizza Besigye, Kampala mayor Erias Lukwago, Busiro East MP Medard Sseggona were roundly cheered when they showed up and gave speeches.
Earlier in February this year, Kirumira reported to Lungujja police station, a case which was registered under SD REF: 43/28/02/2018, stating that his life was threatened by unknown people who followed his car using numberless motorcycles.
"Unknown people are trailing me from one place to another, with no clear motive. I have now connected dots on this surveillance on my movements; these are associates of some officers facing various charges in military court and possibly some friends of Kitatta [Abdallah of militia group, Boda Boda 2010] camp," Kirumira posted on his Facebook page in March this year.
But in the same post, Kirumira was optimistic that he would use both in overt and covert operations training he acquired from the Gaddafi Defence College to deal with what he called rudimentary criminal elements' that was trailing him. He added that he was ready to sacrifice his life, if it paid the price for correcting the image of the police.
Indeed as he predicted, on September 8, Kirumira was killed by unknown assailants riding on motorcycles. His wife Mariam Kirumira said; yesterday, it was her husband who was killed, and if the weapons and criminals are not controlled and contained, another person’s husband and child will also be killed by the same weapons.
Kirumira's father, Abubaker Kawooya said the news of the murder of his son did not surprise him as he had been expecting it anyway. He said those who thought that by ending his son’s life they would hurt the family, he was getting solace from the love shown to his son during his send off in Mpambire.
Hundreds of mourners attended the burial of Kirumira, chanting ‘People Power’ slogans throughout.
Mourners taunt police for bringing in yet another tear gas truck at the burial of Muhammad Kirumira in Mpambire. There are 4 tear gas trucks at the burial ground pic.twitter.com/a93x3k3srm— The Observer (@observerug) September 9, 2018