The June 1 fatal shooting of General Edward Katumba Wamala’s daughter Brenda Nantongo and his official driver Haruna Kayondo was a new grim broad daylight execution, which has drawn the same old script of vows over the years; vows to crush and defeat “these pigs, the shallow thugs, criminals and killers,” from President Museveni and his legion of government officials.
The vow to crush the pigs is a permanent fixture in six of Museveni’s angry speeches made in the immediate aftermath of the high profile murders but remains hollow in effect todate. This latest killing comes three years after the last public execution of Muhammad Kirumira in September 2018.
In the immediate aftermath of the killing of Brenda Nantongo and Haruna Kayondo, President Museveni said on his Twitter account that pigs who do not value life shot at General Katumba, killed his daughter and driver and injured him (Katumba). He vowed to defeat the criminals.
“We shall defeat the criminals as we did in the past. We already have clues to those killers. Besides, the new system of digital beacons on all vehicles and boda bodas will eliminate the misuse of vehicles and boda bodas to commit crimes,” Museveni said in his tweet.
The steady stream of threats continued during the president’s State Of The Nation Address at Kololo on Friday, June 4. In his speech the president took a swipe at police.
“The recent shooting of Gen Katumba by the usual shallow actors who I called pigs the other day showed the poor organization of the police. The cameras I put in place did their work. Why didn’t the camera centre (at Nateete) alert all the patrol cars to chase and block these killers? These wonderful camera managers think that their gadgets are only for storing videos for forensic analysis as part of the post-mortem of the operation. Yes, the cameras are for forensic but also for alarms while the crime is going on,” he said.
Museveni said if the alerts were sent out in time, the criminals would easily be followed from all the camera centres if police officers heeded his directives. He said cameras are not being fully utilised. He further noted that he introduced cameras because of the killings of assistant Director of Public Prosecution Joan Kagezi, Assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Felix Kaweesi, Muhammad Kirumira, Major Muhammad Kiggundu and the Muslim Sheiks.
“When the other killings of Kagezi, Kaweesi, Kirumira and the Muslim sheikhs even Kiggundu happened, by that time we didn’t have cameras. I actually introduced cameras because of those killings, which were going on. You remember when I addressed parliament and I outlined 12 steps, the cameras are just one of them. For instance the gun, which was used in the Katumba attack, is the same one which was used in the Major Kiggundu case and a number of those involved were arrested but they were released by court on bail. Why would somebody who has killed people be released on bail, I cannot understand. Bail for what?” he said.
He directed police to stop using mobile phones and switch to using radio calls that are open to all stations so that they can respond promptly to all emergencies like the attack on General Katumba. In addition to cameras, he said security officials are working to install digital monitors on every vehicle, motorcycle and even boats so that wherever someone is, the command centre can know.
“The people involved in the Katumba incidence I am sure we shall get them because we already have good leads and I am following very closely. But this is different from Kagezi’s, Kaweesi’s murder because at that time there were so many things, which were not in place. Now we have some of those things in place and it will be much easier this time. The country is secure, progressing and corruption and disorientation will be defeated,” Museveni concluded.
Joan Kagezi, a former senior principal state attorney, was shot dead on March 30th 2015 by assailants who trailed her on a boda boda and pinned her down in Kiwatule, a Kampala suburb, as she drove back home.
During the requiem service for Joan Kagezi at St Luke’s Church, Ntinda, then minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Kahinda Otafiire said the justice, law and order sector upholds the values of the rule of law with justice for all as a cornerstone and therefore vowed to bring to justice Kagezi’s killers.
“I would therefore like to assure Ugandans and the family of the deceased that the sector through the police, the judiciary and other state institutions and structures that we shall bring to justice the perpetrators of this criminal act no matter where they are or how long it takes,” Otafiire said.
At the same service, the then Director of Public Prosecution Mike Chibita warned that his sector had waged a huge battle against extremists suspected of being part of the gang, which killed Kagezi.
“The battle has been brought to our doorstep and we shall fight back. Where they use guns, we shall use law books, where they shoot us in highways, we shall battle them in courtrooms because the pen is mightier than the sword,” Chibita said.
Shortly after her murder, the then Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura said, “The murder of Joan Kagezi should only serve to increase our resolve to hunt down and bring to justice all those elements bent on disturbing the security and development of our country.”
Joan Kagezi was the assistant director of Public Prosecution and the head of the International Criminal Division in the ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. In April 2017, Chibita told MPs on the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee that no progress had been made in the prosecution of suspects.
Much as there were leads, he said, they were not credible enough. In September 2018 during his address to the nation, Museveni said he knew the suspect in the Kagezi murder though no one had been arrested.
“It is true Uganda Police has been slow on some issues like Joan Kagezi. I have been briefed by my intelligence and I know the suspect whom we shall soon arrest. It is clear that intelligence has been weak in cases where murders have been committed like in the case of Kagezi and others but this weak area is being strengthened,” Museveni said.
While presiding at the pass out Local Defence Unit trainees in Kaweweta Training School in March 2019, President Museveni revealed that Kagezi was killed by rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) because she refused to be bribed in the trial of suspects in the July 2010 Kampala bombings.
“Joan Kagezi was killed because she refused to be bribed by ADF in matters of prosecution. (Former MP Ibrahim) Abiriga and Kaweesi were also killed and then some people started making noise on social media that Uganda was insecure. I have decided to mobilise the youth to come and defend their country,” Museveni said.
Kagezi was the state prosecutor in the trial of 13 individuals suspected of taking part in the July 2010 bombings in Kampala. After her murder, over 50 people were arrested but all these were later released after the directorate of public prosecutions advised that there was no evidence linking them to the murder and up to today, no suspect has ever been arrested and charged for her murder.
MAJOR MOHAMMED KIGGUNDU
Major Mohammed Kiggundu was shot and killed by gunmen moving on a motorcycle on November 26 2016 at Masanafu, a Kampala suburb. Kiggundu who was driving to the city in a UPDF pick-up truck was killed together with his bodyguard Sergeant Steven Mukasa.
The late Andrew Kaweesi who was police spokesperson then said there was no doubt that the rebel ADF were behind Kiggundu’s murder because of the identical assassination methods. “This is the same method that was used in the past killings of Muslim leaders.
We thought we had neutralised ADF elements but it seems we still need to do a lot of work.”
Kiggundu was one of the former commanders of ADF who denounced the armed rebels with a group of other fighters and integrated into UPDF where he was promoted to the rank of Major in December 2007. He was a preacher of Islam on one of the radio stations and it is believed that he was one of the clerics on the list of Muslim leaders who were targeted by hitmen.
In February this year, the DPP Justice Jane Frances Abodo informed the international crimes division of the High Court that she had withdrawn terrorism charges against the 11 suspects who had been arrested in connection with Kiggundu’s murder. The judge then ordered for the immediate release of the accused persons from Luzira prison where they had remanded since 2017.
ANDREW FELIX KAWEESI
On the morning of March 17, 2017, Assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Felix Kaweesi was gunned down by men riding on motorcycles alongside his driver Godfrey Wanbeyo and bodyguard Kenneth Erau a few metres from his home in Kulambiro, a Kampala surburb.
In a statement released that very day (March 17) about the murder, President Museveni said that as a consequence of the repeated murders in the city and other towns, he had directed the immediate installation of cameras in all major towns of Uganda and along highways.
“These thugs think they can use this remaining gap in our otherwise robust security framework. I have directed the Minister of Finance to work with police to immediately close this gap. Security personnel and all citizens should be vigilant and on the lookout for these thugs who have made it a habit to use motorcycles to kill people,” the statement read.
While eulogizing Kaweesi at his home in Kulambiro a few days later, Museveni said that police had been infiltrated by criminals and ordered the then IGP Kale Kayihura to clean up the police force because it was also contributing to the death of the people.
Museveni further assured Kaweesi mourners that he was going to either arrest his killers or kill them and if they didn’t want to die, they should surrender rather than trying to hide.
“These pigs do not see the value of people like Kaweesi. If the criminals do not want to die, they should surrender. We shall defeat the boda boda method of killing people. Criminals are now using boda bodas because they are many and Kampala population has increased. They think they can use this method after killing 10 people,” Museveni said.
Former Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim Abiriga was also killed by unknown men riding on a motor bike on June 8 2018 near his home in Kawanda, Wakiso district alongside his driver Saidi Kongo in his signature yellow beetle car.
When President Museveni visited the crime scene in Kawanda the next day, he said that Abiriga had died because of some issues relating to him as a person but it was possible that he was killed over NRM issues because he was a strong NRM supporter.
“It is possible they thought by killing him they would hurt NRM. This shows the foolishness of these people who are fighting NRM. NRM has the ability to kill but we have never killed a single opponent. We fight with ideas, if your ideas are good, the people will adopt them. These murderers want to see how they can destroy our country but we shall defeat them because these killings are not new,” he said.
During his burial in Arua which Museveni personally attended, he stressed the fact that Abiriga’s murder was politically motivated and warned anyone who was planning a war against NRM supporters that they shall soon be defeated.
“These people who kill people because of politics are pigs who cannot value life. I am sad, angry but I am confident that
we are going to defeat these people. They have opened a war by killing our people. They are going to see what NRM means in war. They killed some sheikhs, Joan Kagezi , Kaweesi and now they have killed Abiriga here, it is time really for all us to wake up and say stop this and we have the capacity,” Museveni said.
Museveni also ordered a ban on covering of heads or wearing hoods by motorcyclists while riding their bikes and also instructed all of them to get new helmets with identification numbers on the back.
Former Buyende district police commander Assistant Superintendent of Police Muhammed Kirumira and his female friend Resty Nalinya Mbabazi, a mobile money agent, were gunned by armed men riding on a motorcycle at Bulenga trading centre on September 8th 2018.
Kirumira and Nalinya who were travelling together in a car were pronounced dead on arrival at Rubaga and Mulago hospitals respectively where they had been rushed.
Through his social media pages, Kirumira had accused senior officers of corruption, working with criminal gangs and hiring out guns to wrong elements and said he was a target of an assassination plot. Following Kirumira’s murder, President Museveni in a statement said that pending the installation of cameras everywhere, they were going to re-activate the Luweero methods to deal with these cowardly pigs.
“Condolences on the brutal killing of police officer Muhammad Kirumira at Bulenga. I visited the scene of crime at 23:00hrs. The criminals are still using the gaps I identified in my speech to Parliament on 20th June 2018. The police are working hard to fill the gaps. We are to stop these pigs by not just relying on the old police methods. They have started installing cameras and other measures are being put in place. Pending the installation of cameras everywhere, we are going to re activate the Luweero methods to deal with these cowardly pigs,” Museveni said.
MUSEVENI ON SECURITY
While addressing the country on Sunday, June 6 June, Museveni denied media reports that investigations into all these killings have never been completed.
“I have got a report here by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). It has got all these cases and what has happened. A total of 68 cases have been identified including these murders and many of the people have either been killed or arrested. I will tell Grace Akullo (director CID) to publish and give the country a brief about these murders. Even the killing of Joan Kagezi, the killers were identified but some were abroad and we were supposed to use Interpol to look for them. So that line that all these cases are never concluded is not wholly correct,” Museveni said.
He also added that a high ranking General if he is not alert and the population is also not alert can be attacked because generals also have blood.
“In the case of Gen Katumba Wamala, he had also made mistakes because apparently, he was moving without a follow car. He used to move with a follow car when he was CDF but when he became minister, he was moving with one escort and a driver. I did not know that because a 4 star general given that we still have some of these isolated incidences should be having a follow car. If he had a follow car, it would not have been easy to attack him.”