Saturday March 18 2017

Kaweesi, bodyguard and driver tried to escape

On duty. Police forensic officers comb the

On duty. Police forensic officers comb the scene where AIGP Felix Kaweesi was gunned down by unknown assailants. PHOTO BY MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI.  

By STEPHEN KAFEERO & ANDREW BAGALA

Kampala.

Police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi, 43, was yesterday shot dead in a daring but not uncommon fashion as he left his home in Kulambiro, a Kampala suburb, to go to work. The shooting happened just after 9am, residents said.

The assailants are reported to have been riding a motorcycle commonly referred to as boda boda, just like those who have recently executed similar high profile murders in Kampala.

One recent such murder was of Maj Muhammad Kiggundu, who was on November 26, last year, gunned down with his guard, Sgt Steven Mukasa. Maj Kiggundu was also a Muslim cleric, and was shot dead in similar manner as were several other fellow Muslim clerics in Kampala and its suburbs and in Iganga and Mbale districts in eastern Uganda.

Those killed together with Kaweesi only 100 metres away after leaving his home were his driver Constable Godfrey Wambewa, and his bodyguard Corporal Kenneth Erau.

Kaweesi usually had seven guards assigned to him, according to one of his guards who spoke to this newspaper at the scene of crime. He asked not to be named because he is not authorised to speak for the Uganda Police Force.

Five of the guards normally took turns in protecting the Assistant Inspector General of Police, who was also the director in charge of Human Resources and also the spokesperson of the Force. The other two guards were charged with protecting Kaweesi’s home in Kulambiro and were provided by the nearby police post.

Kaweesi was on the fateful morning travelling in a black Land Cruiser Prado UP 4778 without an escort vehicle. His guard took the co-driver’s seat, while Kaweesi occupied the left hand side of the back seat.

Kaweesi’s body was found slumped onto the right-hand side of the back seat; a posture indicative as if he were taking cover to avoid the barrage of bullets. The driver’s body was captured in a similar posture.

The car doors were found flung open after the incident, and several of the police officers Saturday Monitor talked to at the scene believed the assassins had opened the doors to confirm that their targets were indeed dead.

Yet other police officers speculated that when the shooting started from the left-hand side, Kaweesi could have tried to exit the car through the right-hand door thinking the assassins were only positioned on the left-hand side of the car.

The driver, according to this line of thought, could have reflexively attempted similar escape strategy, hence the open car doors after the shooting.

The spot of the shooting was cordoned off shortly after, with scene-of-crime police officers collecting samples and other materials of evidential value.

None of the people Saturday Monitor talked to said they witnessed the incident; perhaps due to the intensity of the shooting that left several bullet marks on the car.

Saturday Monitor’s sports editor Mark Namanya, who lives in Kulambiro and within metres of where the incident took place, says he heard several gunshots from his home at around 9am. After the shooting stopped, he says, he called a boda-boda rider, who usually runs his errands for an update on what had happened.

Mr Namanya quoted the boda boda rider as having said: “At about 9am, two people – both armed - rode a boda boda towards Felix Kaweesi’s home. Shortly after, we heard gunshots, but we did not see where they disappeared to after that. When we rushed to find out what was happening, we found out that Afande had been killed near Kulambiro Gardens, about 100 metres away from his home.”

The boda boda rider who spoke to Mr Namanya, however, said he did not know which direction the assailants disappeared to after committing the crime. Another boda boda cyclist told another of our reporters that he sprinted off for his life immediately the shooting started and was joined by a few other people, including a man who abandoned his car on the road, as Kaweesi’s car was sprayed with bullets.

Police boss Gen Kale Kayihura, together with other top brass of the Uganda Police Force, rushed to the scene after the shooting, where they were later joined by Security minister, Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde.

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