Friday September 14 2018

Police: We didn’t know Kirumira was unsafe

Muhammad Kirumira with two colleague

Muhammad Kirumira with two colleagues at one of the two functions he attended hours before he was killed. Courtesy photo   

By DERRICK WANDERA

Kampala.

Police yesterday said it was not aware that the life of its ex-officer, Muhammad Kirumira, was in danger prior to his September 8 brutal killing by gunmen in Bulenga, Wakiso District.
“Where did he file the complaint?” Police Spokesman Emilian Kayima said in response to a question from this newspaper on why the Force never protected Kirumira.
His home is post-humously being heavily guarded by both police and the military. Kirumira’s father, Hajj Abubaker Kawooya, in an interview with this newspaper earlier in the week questioned why the law enforcement agency let his son die on his own after providing “sensitive information” about criminal gangs harboured within police.

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“After providing such sensitive information on criminals, police should have provided him (Kirumira) with protection [as one of] its officers,” Hajj Kawooya said then, adding: “And this must be a standard procedure not limited to police officers, but the general community who divulge information about criminal activities”.
Police in yesterday’s response said the officer, who variously posted on his social media sites about imminent threat to his life, never lodged a formal complaint with the Force he served.

Verbal petition
Kirumira, a former Buyende District police commander who had a litany of run-ins with his employer, was on suspension and had been demoted by a rank after the Police Disciplinary Court convicted him this year.
Uganda Human Rights Commission, which the slain officer petitioned verbally twice about a plot by unnamed individuals to eliminate him for his exposure of ills within police, earlier this week also said it never investigated the threats because they got no written compliant from him.
Following Kirumira’s killing alongside Resty Nalinya, security has been strengthened in the Bulenga neighbourhood.
Heavily armed UPDF soldiers have ringed off Kirumira’s home and are turning away journalists and other visitors.
Asked about the rationale of the army deploying now when they could not do so then to prevent Kirumira’s killing, Ministry of Defence spokesman, Brig Richard Karemire, said the tightened security is to enable flawless investigations.
“People cannot access the home anyhow and yet investigations are going on. Let us allow the police to do their job. Please, don’t sabotage it,” Brig Karemire said by telephone.
Meanwhile, fear among residents was palpable yesterday, a contrast to the weekend of the killings when they freely spoke about the matter.
No one wanted to be identified, saying security agents were pursuing individuals giving out information.
“We have talked to [and given information to] police as eyewitnesses,” one residents said, preferring not to be named. “But after that, they take us as suspects. That is why the community is angry and hostile to anyone who wants to know anything about the death of Kirumira.”

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