The investigation into the kidnap and murder of Susan Magara has now zeroed on one of her family members who was reportedly communicating with the kidnappers during the three-week ordeal, PML Daily has learnt.
Magara, who was kidnapped on February 7 from Kabaka Anjagala Road in Rubaga Division, Kampala, was later killed and her body discovered dumped at Kitiko, between Kigo and Kajjansi near the Entebbe Expressway.
Sources privy to the investigations have intimated that besides the arrest and detention of key suspects Patrick Agaba, aka Pato, and Ronald Asiimwe, aka, Kanyankole, they are closing in other family member, who is also believed to be one of the masterminds of the kidnap and murder of Magara.
According to intelligence sources, the family member, whose names have been withheld to avoid compromising investigations, fled the country shortly after Magara’s body was discovered and first went to the Middle East before eventually settling in South Africa.
The name of the suspect, sources add, was submitted to the investigation team by the Magara family as part of the group they suspected to have been in the mission to demand the Shs700m ransom.
We had earlier reported that Mr Magara was forced to raise the money after the kidnappers sent him a video, which showed them chopping off his girl’s fingers and threatening to kill her if they did not raise the $1 million (about Shs3.6 billion) ransom, which was later reduced to Shs700m, following negotiations. However, Magara was killed by her kidnappers despite her father paying the money.
And now security sources are investigating leads that this family member kept leaking to kidnappers details of the conversation between the family, police, security agencies and President Museveni.
The family member was employed at the family’s Bwendero Dairy Farm in Hoima, where Susan was in charge of managing the finances.
This corroborates with an earlier intercepted audio, where the kidnappers showed clear knowledge of the deceased’s father, implying they were known to the family.
“You know these things, don’t dare include the police, do not inform any security agency and do not waste your time. Do not call Interpol, police or ISO. I know this game, I have played it for long. Otherwise I will do something to Susan (Magara) that you will never forget till you die,” one of the kidnappers is heard saying in Runyoro.
A family member is also heard responding: “I cannot sir, I won’t do it sir, No sir (in Runyoro).
The kidnapper adds: ‘Everything you try to do, everything, I know you, I have read the papers, you stay in Lubowa, I know your home in Hoima, your firm. Be loyal and cooperative or else you will get Susan (Magara) in pieces should you even be lucky. If you mess around you will not get a thing.”
Security sources are now said to be devising means of deporting this suspect from South Africa to face trial.
This comes after Pato, who is also known to the Magara family, was arrested on March 7 from his apartment in South Africa by South African police working with CMI and ISO operatives.
He reportedly made several questionable mobile money transactions, suspicious telephone calls and travel arrangements shortly after Magara’s murder, prompting ISO and CMI to arrest him. Pato is said to have been a poor ordinary Ugandan about five years ago and that his source of wealth and lavish lifestyle has amused everyone, including security officials. He is said to own a fleet of luxurious cars and several homes in the city yet he dropped out of university in first year. His parents are also poor, with his father operating a small retail shop in Hoima District.
Security agencies are also investigating links between Pato and the other suspect, Ronald Asiimwe, aka, Kanyankore, after some intelligence sources indicated that the latter was hired by Pato to commit the crime. The security agencies are also investigating reports that the duo were involved in past criminal activities and have always been available for hire.
So far, 22 suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder of Susan Magara. The other suspect arrested is Bob Kibirango, who is said to be the man whose voice was heard in the recorded communication between the kidnappers and the deceased’s parents. Preliminary investigations into the killing suggest that Magara may have been raped before she was killed.