KAMPALA —Deputy Inspector General of Police Gen. Paul Lokech says security forces have arrested the second suspected shooter in an assassination attempt on General Katumba Wamala in which his daughter Brenda Nantongo and driver Haruna Kayondo were killed.
Lokech says the security has arrested Wampa Huzaifa alias Kanaabe, 30, a former member of BODABODA 2010 after he was tracked down and arrested on the Tuesday July 12, from a hide-out in Kikomeko village, near Kalule Trading Centre, Nakatonya Parish, Nyimbwa Subcounty, in Luwero district.
“An immediate thorough search was conducted at his known premises, and the motorcycle Bajaj Boxer, red in colour registration number UEO 375D, that was used during the attack was recovered,” Lokech said, claiming that other relevant exhibits recovered include the hood that he used to cover his head, an assortment of jackets, gloves, warm suits, and another motorcycle, Bajaj red in colour, registration number UDH 888V that was used in the surveillance of their targets.
“I wish to add that during the interrogation, he admitted to participating in a series of planned and highly sophisticated murders and aggravated robberies within the country, that led to the murder of 14 persons, the attempted murder of 3 people and 3 major aggravated robberies”, Lokech said.
Early on June 1, masked gunmen on motorcycles intercepted Gen. Katumba as he travelled through Kisaasi, a suburb of the capital Kampala.
They sprayed his vehicle with bullets, killing his daughter and driver but aborted the attack when Gen. Katumba’s bodyguard shielded him and fired back.
The bodyguard was unhurt.
Katumba is a former head of military and a former chief of the police.
There have been several unsolved assassinations and mysterious deaths of high profile officials in in recent years that have fuelled speculation about perpetrators and their motivation.
Victims have involved a lawmaker, a senior police officer, a public prosecutor, senior Muslim leaders and others. Nearly all were committed by gunmen on motorcycles though in most cases charges have eventually been dropped by prosecutors or dismissed by judges for lack of evidence.
Last week, five suspects, highly covered with gruises, wounds and burn marks were arraigned before the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Nakawa on charges of terrorism and the subsequent murder of a daughter and driver to the Minister for Works and Transport General Katumba Wamala.
When the suspects were brought to court for, for the first time, last week, the detainees told the magistrate they were being beaten. They raised their hands several times, showing the magistrate wounds and bruises on their wrists. They said they were being kept handcuffed for long periods of time and were not being fed.
They also accused Police of torturing them to illicit confessions.
President Yoweri Museveni had in a public letter to security chiefs said torture is “unnecessary and wrong” and does not produce reliable evidence. He said torture is not to be used.
Uganda’s anti-torture act of 2012 prohibits intentionally causing pain to anyone to obtain information or a confession. Conviction of violating that law could result in imprisonment for 15 years.
Proof of torture has undermined prosecutions in Uganda. At least two cases have been dropped in recent years after defense lawyers presented evidence that their clients had been tortured while in custody.