KAMPALA Police have distanced themselves from allegations of victimizing Rev. Fr. Mugisha Richard, the Parish Priest of Bisanje Catholic Church, Kimanya, Kabonero Division in Masaka City because he supports opposition, particularly National Unity Platform – NUP headed by Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine.
The Fr. is facing murder charges following the unclear death of a suspected thief who tried to steal his car.
On October 12, 2021, at around 11:30pm, a suspected car thief, identified as Kyeyune Ronald 30, trespassed and broked into Mugisha’s car before he was beaten up by residents in a mob justice, according to the police.
“It is during the violent beating that the Rev. Fr. called the police at Masaka to rescue the suspect, almost after one and half hours from 11:30pm, when the incident occurred,” Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson told media on Monday.
“Our patrol team, led by AIP Okello Patrick, responded and rescued the wounded suspect and transferred him to Masaka CPS after 1am. At around 6:30am, the cells guard realized that the suspect was not feeling well and alerted the standby team to have him transferred to the Hospital for treatment. Unfortunately, the victim passed away, during that process,” he added.
However, Fr. Mugisha denied allegations that the suspect was beaten, saying that he was handed over to the police unharmed.
This has since resulted into reports that the Rev.Fr. is being harassed since he openly rallied for support of NUP’ Bobi Wine in the last Presidential election.
This, police say is not true, “because the investigation is purely about a crime of murder, and how to bring the perpetrators to book. It is not about any particular ideology, whether by Government, NRM or the Opposition.”
“An inquest was carried out by the Magistrate at Masaka CPS, and the coroner’s report obtained. In addition several statements were obtained, from our response teams who rescued the victim, the officers on night duty, the officers who took the victim to custody, the male cells guard and suspects who were with the victim in custody. Other statements were recorded from the Rev. Fr. Mugisha, together with the Head of the vigilantes, from Bisanje village, Kimanya Kabonero division. Also summoned for statements are other vigilantes, who took part in the alleged torture of the suspect upon arrest, at the home of the Rev.Fr,” Enanga said.