KAMPALA – Joshua Nteireho Ruhegyera, a 38-year-old man shot dead at Nambigirwa Bridge along the Entebbe Expressway last Thursday, had confided in a friendly police officer that he was being trailed by people in tinted vehicles, detectives close to the investigation have revealed.
Nteireho was shot dead together with Merina Tumukunde, a 37-year-old in a Toyota Prado last Thursday evening.
And now it has emerged that the deceased, who is closely connected to the First Family, had become security conscious, claiming that some people wanted him dead.
Three police officers have been arrested over the murder. The suspects, all attached to the Counter-Terrorism (CT) directorate, are Davis Taremwa, Hassan Mugote and Wilson Atwijukire.
Detectives have revealed that Taremwa, whose gun was found with Nteireho, has told investigators that the deceased had resorted to being accompanied by a security officer whenever he transacted his business as he feared for his life.
Ntereho is said to have owned a company called Amba Financial Ltd, with the help of the First Son, Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba. The company gives out loans to youth at low-interest rates.
A look at his Facebook page shows that there are photos he took with the members of the First Family at State House, Entebbe. One of the photos he posted on his Facebook page in March shows him standing with a child and a counter-terrorism police officer holding a gun and closely watching them.
This line of investigations matches with the police statement, which indicates that moments before the incident, Ntereho had asked Taremwa, who was believed to be his close friend, to escort him to a business meeting at Millennium Hotel in Zana where he and Merina were scheduled to meet with a car dealer. Police says Taremwa had withdrawn from his duty station to escort Joshua.
The police statement notes: “The officer withdrew from his beat (an act which was not justified based on the law and his training) and the 3 drove together to the Hotel. The circumstances surrounding their movement from Millennium Hotel, up to the stage where the shooting occurred at Nambigirwa Bridge, Mpala are still unclear. It is what the task team of investigators and forensic experts are working to determine.”
However, Taremwa is said to have told police that while at the hotel, Ntereiho sent him to call one Suubi from inside the hotel so that they could conclude a business deal.
However, at this stage, Nteireho is said to have driven off together with Tumukunde, going with Taremwa’s gun and a headdress (cape), which the latter had left at the meeting table.
Security agencies are investigating why the deceased chose to leave the police officer and drive off alone before the incident occurred.
Taremwa also reportedly told the investigators that when the duo drove off and left him at Millennium Hotel, he waited for them in vain until he jumped into a taxi and headed back to Entebbe.
While preliminary details show that Tumukunde and Nteireho were shot by another person in the same car they were travelling in, another angle of investigation indicates that Nteireho was shot from outside the car, behind it, in what apparently appears like he was attempting to confront the killer.
Nteireho’s left hand was reportedly found tightly gripped to the barrel of the gun that was recovered.
The investigators are following the line that the deceased were attacked because of an unspecified amount of money that is suspected to have been robbed from their vehicle after they were killed.