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Gunmen kill police boss

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By ANDREW BAGALA

Posted  Saturday, February 15   2014 at  13:08
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KAMPALA

Kajjansi Police Station boss has been shot dead by gunmen raising more questions on who is behind the killings of police officers.

Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police, Joseph Bigirwa, who was responding to an armed robbery of a petrol station and mobile money shop less than 30 metres away from his station, was shot and died on the spot at around 11pm in Kajjansi town on Friday night.

Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman, Mr Ibin Ssenkumbi, described the killing as absurd but vowed police would use all their tools and expertise to apprehend the killers. “Our homicide experts have visited the scene and we are trying all our level best to establish the killers and arrest them,” Mr Ssenkumbi said yesterday.

This is the second police officer to be killed in three days by thugs, and the sixth in less than a year. In many attacks, thugs take police officers’ guns.

On Thursday morning, gunmen with an SMG rifle shot dead a Special Police Constable, Nelson Tugume, at Nalumunye near the Jomayi Estates in a shootout with the thugs. Two of the thugs were also shot dead by the police and a police gun they were using was recovered. It has been established that it’s the gun that was stolen from Mpala Police post last year.

In the Kajjansi incident, Bigirwa and his colleagues heard gunshots at a petrol station and ran to the scene. “We suspect that the thugs had laid an ambush and shot at anyone who was responding to the crime from the police station. Our officer is believed to have been killed in that ambush,” Mr Ssenkumbi said.

Bullet cartridges from an SMG rifle and a pistol were retrieved at the scene, suggesting the thugs were using the two guns. The thugs grabbed Shs10m from the mobile money shop and unspecified amount of money from the petrol station before grabbing a car which they used to flee. The car was later found abandoned at Sseguku along Entebbe highway.

Forensic experts are now examining the cartridges to establish whether they are from the same guns that were used by suspected robbers at an MTN centre in Mubende town last week.
Police engaged the robbers and killed two of them but the rest sped off in a saloon car with their guns. Cartridges picked at the Mubende crime scene were of an SMG rifle and a pistol.

Briefs
Entebbe Highway
- Entebbe Road is the most guarded road in the country. It is 22 miles from Entebbe to Kampala, but it has over 29 police patrol vehicles and 45 motor vehicles. Each patrol car has eight officers and a motorcycle has two officers. In other words, the 22-mile stretch has more officers than those in districts of Agago, Bukomansimbi, Lamwo and Bududa put together. It also has more police motor vehicles than those in sub regions of West Nile, Karamoja and part of Acholiland.

Officers killed
- Special Police Constable Aristo Rwegimana attached to Kawempe Police Station
- Constable Charles Byarugaba, 26, attached to Mulago Police Post at Kalerwe, a city a suburb, and fled with his gun. He was found dead with two gun wounds in the chest.
- Police officer, Tony Omora, was shot and injured at Wampewo Avenue before his gun was stolen.

Number of guns stolen in 2012
- In 2012, 11 submachine guns were stolen but only seven were found. Another 42 submachine guns stolen in different years were recovered last year, according to the crime report of 2012.

abagala@ug.nationmedia.com