Monday March 20 2017

FBI agents join in hunt for Kaweesi killers

Probe. An FBI agent at the crime scene last

Probe. An FBI agent at the crime scene last Saturday. PHOTO BY COLLEB MUGUME.  

By Tabu Butagira & Andrew bagala

Agents of the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) have joined the investigations into the broad day shooting dead of Uganda Police Force spokesman Andrew Kaweesi and two other officers in Kampala’s Kulambiro suburb last Friday.

It is unclear if the involvement of the FBI, America’s 30,000-strong intelligence and law enforcement agency with world-wide reach, was at Uganda government’s request or voluntary.

At least three of the FBI agents, in the company of senior police officers, last Saturday visited the scene of crime where Kaweesi and his subordinates were gunned, to collect forensic evidence for further analysis.

“We do not comment on law enforcement issues,” Mr Chris Brown, the US Kampala embassy spokesman, said last night when asked about FBI’s involvement in the investigations.
Police too declined to comment, and gave no update on the status of on-going inquiries.

Gen Kale Kayihura, the inspector general of police, said detectives are working and the country will be updated on their findings.
This is not the first time that the FBI is investigating crimes committed on Ugandan soil. Its agents recently investigated a money laundering racket involving an American citizen and, in 2010, they were at hand to support inquiries into the twin-bombing in Kampala claimed by the al-Shabaab that killed 76 people.

The FBI, according to information on its website, acts globally to “protect the US from terrorism, espionage, cyber-attacks and major criminal threats, and to provide its many partners with services, support, training and leadership”.

Kaweesi is to be buried in Lwengo District tomorrow, ahead of a requiem mass at Rubaga Cathedral in Kampala at 10am today, while the driver and guard were interred at the weekend.

Witnesses said their assailants rode on two motorcycles, ambushed them a short distance after exiting Kaweesi’s home, and downloaded magazines of bullets on them. Grieved. IGP Kale Kayihura lays a wreath on the

Grieved. IGP Kale Kayihura lays a wreath on the coffin containing the remains of fallen AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi during mass at St Anthony Catholic Church in Kigoowa. PHOTO by STEPHEN OTAGE

They then flanked the car doors ajar to confirm, at close range, that Assistant Inspector General of Police Kaweesi, his driver Godfrey Wambewo, and guard Kenneth Erau were dead, before speeding away on motorcycles.

Investigators are under pressure to find the masterminds of the brutal and daring executions, which bore the hallmark of trained assassins apparently with unlimited access to bullets.
At a requiem mass at St Anthony Catholic Church in Kigoowa yesterday, Gen Kayihura said Kaweesi was a shining star whom he assigned most of the tasks and, as such, his life should be celebrated. “Kaweesi was at level of a general in the army. Generals don’t die but fade away. ...We, who are involved in crime and wars, don’t think about death,” Gen Kayihura said.
He said it will take decades to get another Kaweesi, but “surely another Kaweesi will rise up.”

Public fear
The Katikkiro of Buganda Kingdom, Mr Charles Peter Mayiga, said the killing of Kaweesi has brought fear in the public and he also has to look over his shoulders when he is being driven.
Mr Mayiga said there are several issues in the country but resolving any by murder was regrettable and wrong.

“Uganda has many problems; insecurity, rebels, terrorism, political problems...but none can be resolved by killing each other,” Mr Mayiga said.

He said those aggrieved should seek dialogue other than resorting to senseless killings.

“The essence of dialogue is talking to those whom you disagree with. But when you are dialoguing, there should be fairness and good faith. You must respect your adversary. Those who killed Kaweesi; I don’t think whether it will lead to solutions,” he said.

Mr Musuubire Kityamuweesi, who looked after Kaweesi when he had failed to get school fees, said he was a good listener and humble in life.

“I told him to focus on common good...I thank God that he followed everything I told him,” Mr Kityamuweesi said.
Mr Kityamuweesi said Kaweesi’s appointment as Kampala Metropolitan police commander at the time of Walk-to-Work protests, worried him and he had to pray for him every day.

Fr Waynand Katende, a priest at Kiyinda-Mityana Diocese, who represented Kampala Archbishop Cyprian Lwanga, said the church prohibits killing --- whether by individuals or State, except, when someone is defending him or herself in a life-threatening situation.