Kirumira's Assassination and the Disheartening State of Uganda Police Criminal Investigations

If the exact spot where the duo was gunned down had been the scene of a peaceful demonstration to protest the derelict road or lack of street-lighting, for example, I am cocksure that two to three or more truckloads of battle-ready anti-riot Police, Military Police and regular UPDF—with a water cannon and an Armoured Personnel Carrier—would’ve been deployed within minutes, if not before the protesters had arrived.

But no; it took over an hour as passersby and locals (unknowingly or knowingly) tampered with the crime scene; debated whether the twitches, spasms and perhaps faint pulses of the two bloodied bodies were signs of life and if so, which hospital they should be transported to, and by what means.

In their limited (if any) knowledge of handling Emergency Room (ER) cases such as haemorrhage, shock and/or trauma arising from multiple bullet wounds, these well-meaning laypeople lifted the two and placed the woman on a boda-boda motorcycle and the man in a matatu (passenger service van commonly called ‘taxi’ in Uganda) and made their way to hospital where both were pronounced DoA (Dead on Arrival)!

The senior police officer and female co-driver, like countless Ugandans before them, were not, even in death, worth a dignified end in the eyes of the regime they served and paid taxes to, respectively.

Indeed, a dozen or more gory images of their slouched torsos and bloodied scalps and what looked like a slew of congealed blood, shattered bone fragment and brain matter, splattered all over the vehicle’s upholstery, were circulating on mainstream and social media.

When the first armed response finally arrived over an hour later(!), purportedly to cordon-off the scene (for forensic purposes), the irate crowd pelted them with whatever they could hurl their way.

Towards or just before 2300 hours, the crime scene and any remaining prospects for a credible coroner’s inquest, forensic pathologist or broader criminal investigation were eroded as Gen. Yoweri Museveni, who has made it a habit to make ill-advised, unsolicited and disruptive visits to crime scenes, arrived with a party of escorts and vehicles, inevitably adding to the contamination of the scene. He took it a step farther and, in full view of the public, “interviewed” presumed eyewitnesses, two of whom he ordered be transported to State House for further questioning! Does Museveni know the limits of his job description?

In the absence of a competent WitSec (Witness Security) programme, I wouldn’t be surprised if those two witnesses die mysteriously in the coming weeks for revealing what they saw or heard.

Given the circumstances I have detailed in the foregoing, and looking at the innumerable cases before this latest one, why should grieving families in particular and Ugandans in general, await a (credible) police report regarding the violent murder of two citizens in a fashion that has become so commonplace it has almost lost its shock value?

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Written by Karamagi Andrew (3)

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