Lt Col Juma Seiko shot eight to nine bullets, according to a witness, wounding three people in a road rage on Sunday afternoon – throwing a rather calm day on Mambure road in Kalerwe into total chaos.
The latest is, Musa Zimula Kasirye, the 35-year-old victim, is still holed up on a hospital bed in Mulago with a bullet still stuck in his thigh near the groin area.
Ali Jjuuko, 45, the driver of the Canter lorry, Reg. No. UAF 293T, which allegedly scratched Juma Seiko’s black Toyota Alteza UBD 890H, underwent successful surgery on Monday at Mulago hospital. Two bullets were removed from his right leg.
Interviewed about his ordeal on Monday in Mulago hospital casualty ward, Jjuuko gave a heartrending account of the shooting. He said he ran into Seiko while driving to Bwaise to see the lorry mechanic.
“As I approached Mambule road, I put on the car indicators because I wanted to turn towards Bwaise but all of a sudden a black Toyota Alteza tried to bypass me and it got scratched.”
Jjuuko said he stopped and parked his lorry on the pavement.
“We both stopped our vehicles and a man who was in Seiko’s car got out, came and asked me why I had scratched Afande’s car. I then heard the voice of another man in the car ordering me to step out of my lorry, which I did,” Jjuuko said.
The other man in the car happened to be Juma Seiko and when he pulled down his car window, Jjuuko said, he quickly knelt and begged for forgiveness. He said his remorsefulness didn’t calm down Seiko. Seiko instead got out of the car with a hammer-shaped stick and started hitting Jjuuko on the shoulders, the back and all over his body until he dropped to the ground.
“As he was still beating me, people began to gather around and pleaded with him to stop since I was already on the ground but he didn’t listen. That is when I spotted a pistol around his waist. I was beginning to lose consciousness; so, he left me and turned to smashing my vehicle’s windows,” he said.
Jjuuko said his three-year-old son was in the lorry. When he saw Seiko vandalising his lorry, he said, he gathered some strength and got up to save his son. When Seiko saw him walking towards the lorry, he thought Jjuuko wanted to fight. Seiko, Jjuuko said, pulled out his pistol and pointed it at him.
“When he pointed the gun at my chest, I hugged him so he wouldn’t have space to shoot me but out of fear, I suddenly let him go and he fell down. As I was running, he shot me twice in the leg and I fell to the ground. Hadn’t I hugged him, I think he would have shot me right in the chest,” he said.
Jjuuko added that Seiko fired about eight or nine bullets to disperse the crowd, which was charging towards him. He was only saved by a policeman on a bike who quickly whisked him to Kawempe police station. His driver had earlier sped off towards Gayaza road when he saw the crowd charging forward, leaving the colonel to his own devices.
An unconscious Jjuuko was rushed to Mulago hospital by a police patrol car. When he regained consciousness at Kyebando, he asked for his son and lorry. Both were later brought to the hospital. When they had just arrived at the hospital, police officers took statements from Jjuuko and two other victims.
He said there is a CCTV camera right where the whole incident happened. He said he is surprised that police investigators have not said anything about retrieving the footage.
Jjuuko is worried he may be crippled for good and may not be able to look after his family.
“This is our country and we are all natives. Nobody is above the other. I am now bedridden here and don’t know what my children are going to eat or how they will go to school. We are nearing the election period but look at the people who want us to put them back into office,” Jjuuko added.
Jjuuko’s wife, Sidat Nakitende, who is attending to him at the hospital, said their three-year-old son who witnessed the whole incident is traumatised. He couldn’t stop crying on Sunday because he thought his father had been killed. She said they have not received any help from any government official since her husband was dumped at the hospital on Sunday.
Musa Zimula Kasirye, 35, another victim of Seiko’s shooting rage, said he is a resident of Kazo-Angola and a bicycle rider on Mambure stage. He was shot in the right thigh near the groin area.
He said he was at the stage when he saw Seiko’s Alteza try to take a sharp turn so close to the Canter lorry and got its door scratched. Seiko parked his car in front of the lorry and his driver got out and went towards the lorry driver, Jjuuko.
“When Jjuuko got out of his lorry, Seiko also came out of his car with a stick and began hitting Jjuuko all over his body before moving on to smash the lorry’s side mirrors. All this happened while Jjuuko was on the ground.”
He said when people gathered and started blaming Seiko for the accident, Jjuuko got energized and asked Seiko why he was smashing his lorry windows and that is when he reached for his gun. Kasirye, however, says that Seiko had two guns, a pistol and an AK47, which was in his car.
“He first removed the AK47, which was in his car but he put it back and got the pistol, which was on him and pointed it at the crowd. He first shot the owner of the Canter lorry and then began shooting into the crowd.”
Kasirye, who was watching the whole incident from the pavement, said the first bullet missed him by a whisker but the second bullet caught him in the right thigh.
He added that when they reached Mulago hospital, policemen from Kabaawo police station took statements from them and promised to send a police doctor to evaluate their situation. They said they haven’t seen any police doctor. On Monday when The Observer spoke to Kasirye, he still had the bullet lodged in his thigh.
Interviewed yesterday, Luke Owoyesigire, the Kampala Metropolitan police deputy spokesperson, said Seiko has been charged with unlawful wounding by shooting and not attempted murder as earlier reported. The earlier one, he said, was a holding charge as full investigations were on-going.
“We have gathered evidence from the ground and taken statements from victims and we have just forwarded the file to the director of Public Prosecutions and right now we are still waiting for his action; therefore, I cannot say much,” Owoyesigire told The Observer.
Asked whether they have retrieved footage from the CCTV camera on Mambure road, Owoyesigire said that is not important because they have enough evidence on file.
The official word from Seiko is that he shot in self-defence.
“I was heading to Gayaza road when a lorry, which wanted to turn knocked and destroyed my car’s side mirror. I got out of my car expecting him to apologise but he was unapologetic. I told him to pay for the damages because the mirror is worth two million shillings but he rudely replied that he will not pay for anything.”
Seiko said Jjuuko wanted to walk back to his lorry and run away. He said when he tried to stop Jjuuko, he tore his T-shirt, hit him with a rock on the head and also bit his fingers. Seiko couldn’t fathom how a man in his right senses could attack an armed army officer.
“As a way of self-defence, I shot a bullet in the air to scare him away but he instead came towards me and tried to wrestle me to the ground. I used my tactics as an army officer for protection and shot his leg,” Seiko added.
Seiko is not new to shooting incidences because in 2016, two people were shot near his residence on Nakasero hill in Kampala. The victims were Lamex Ogwang and Alfred Sembatya who were boda boda riders. The two were dropping off Solomon Mugabi and David Ssenkubuge who were also injured.
Later, Seiko’s bodyguard who is also an ex-soldier, Alex Cherotich, was arrested and charged in court for murder and attempted murder. Last year in September, he was convicted and sentenced to 35 years in Luzira prison.