Police link Maj. Kiggundu's assassination to ADF rebels

Saturday November 26 2016
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Kiggundu's body lies in the middle of the road. Courtesy photo

Gunmen have have shot dead Sheik Maj. Mohammed Kiggundu, one of the former commanders of the rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

Maj. Kiggundu was killed at Masanafu, a Kampala suburb. His bodyguard, Sgt. Steven Mukasa was also shot dead. The two were driving to the city in a UPDF pick-up truck on Saturday at about 7:30 am.

According to the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Paul Kangave, the assailants who were moving on a motorcycle followed them for some distance before shooting one of the car tyres forcing the truck to veer into a drainage trench.

Witnesses say, Maj. Kiggundu, the husband of Sylvia Namutebi aka Maama Fiina, the leader of traditional herbalists in Uganda, jumped out of the vehicle which made it easy for the killers to shoot him at close range.

In the ensuring chaos, his bodyguard was also shot dead before he could put up a fight. The attackers did not take his AK47 gun which dropped a few feet near the vehicle.

Maj. Kiggundu, who denounced armed rebellion with a group of ADF fighters, almost a decade ago, was integrated into the UPDF and promoted to the rank of Major in December 2007. He has been a preacher of Islam on Pearl FM, a Kampala-based radio.

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Police has cordoned off the crime scene to pick vital materials that would be used in investigations.

Mr Andrew Kaweesi, the police spokesperson said they have no doubt that the ADF are behind the killing because of the identical assassination methods.

 “This is the same tactic that was used in the past killings of Muslims leaders. We thought we had neutralised  ADF elements but it seems we still need to do a lot of work,” Mr Kaweesi said.

According to Mr Kaweesi, Maj. Kiggundu was one of the clerics on a list of Muslim leaders being targeted by hit men.

The list included late Sheikh Mustafa Bayiga and Sheikh Hassan Kirya who were killed last year.

Read:

More questions as another Sheikh is gunned down in Kampala

Wednesday July 01 2015

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KAMPALA. Shortly after his Tarawih prayers at Dar-tal-alim al-islamiya in Rubaga, Sheikh Ibrahim Hassan Kirya, was on Tuesday attacked and shot dead by unknown assailants on a bodaboda motor cycle.

The-49-year-old spokesperson of Kibuli Muslim faction was gunned down in Bweyogerere, Wakiso district on his way home.
According to eye witnesses, Sheikh Kirya was shot along with three other people who are currently battling for their lives at Mulago National Referral Hospital.
He was attacked shortly after crossing the road to buy some passion fruits.
His body was taken to Mulago National Hospital for a postmortem examination.

Sheikh Kirya had earlier informed Uganda Police that he feared for his life after a number of Muslim clerics were killed in related incidents by unknown assailants.

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Sheikh Ibrahim Hassan Kiirya was on Tuesday shot dead by unknown assailants on a bodaboda. File photo

According to police, Sheikh Kirya was attacked at around 10pm as he returned to his home in Bweyogerere after dropping off one of his security officers who stays in Kireka police barracks.

"We had given him close body protection; all round security by some of our best officers under the VIP protection who had been moving with him and all the other associates in that vulnerable situation. At around 9:30, he offered to drop the body guard who stays in our barracks in Kireka. After dropping him, he was driving to his home in Bweyogerere where he was attacked and shot dead," said Mr Fred Enanga, the Police spokesperson, .

Sheikh Kiirya is survived by three wives and four children.

Related killings

Sheikh Kirya is the fourth Muslim leader to be killed under similar circumstances in just less than a year.

In May this year, Sheikh Abdulrashid Wafula, the Imam of Bilal Mosque in Mbale Town was gunned down at the gate of his home in Kireka village Nakaloke Town Council, Mbale district.
On December 28, last year, Sheikh Mustafa Bahiga was shot dead at the Bwebajja Mosque on Entebbe road.
Sheikh Bahiga was also shot five times; three bullets in the left limb, one on the head and another in the stomach as he was going for Ishae Prayer.

Sheikh Bahiga’s death came barely two days after Sheikh Dr Abdul Kadir Muwaya; the Shiite leader was gunned down at his home in Mayuge district.

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By Wednesday morning, police had sealed off the crime scene where Sheikh Kirya was killed. Photo by Faiswal Kasirye

Sheikh Bahiga and Dr Muwaya's death led to the arrest of a number of people, including top Muslim leaders on allegations of murder and having links with the ADF rebels operating along DR Congo-Uganda border.
Sheikh Kirya, Sheikh Bahiga, Dr Muwaya and Sheikh Wafula‘s death leave a number of questions unanswered including the circumstances involving the killing of Sheikh Abdul Karim Ssentamu and Hajj Abubaker Kiweewa who were in 2012 gunned down by unknown assailants in different locations in the city.

The inspector general of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura linked the killings of the Muslim clerics to the ADF rebel activities and that he was determined to hunt them (killers) down.

fmukisa@ug.nationmedia.com

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 Other reigning Muslim leaders on hit list include Sheikh Nuhu Muzaata, and Prince Kassim Nakibinge, the titular leader of Muslims, among others.

ADF leader Jamil Mukulu was last year arrested in Tanzania and brought to Uganda where he is facing murder, aggravated murder, treason, war crimes and crimes against humanity charges.

Read:

Muslim cleric abandons home over threats

Monday August 17 2015

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KAMPALA- Weeks after two Muslim clerics escaped death by suspected assailants in Mbale District, another prominent Muslim leader in Masaka District has fled his home after numerous death threats.

Sheikh Yasin Kakomo, the custodian of Muslim properties at the Masaka District Muslim council, claims that for the last six weeks, flyers with messages threatening his life have been dropped at his restaurant on Elgin Street in Masaka Town.

Speaking to journalists at Masaka Main Mosque last weekend, Sheikh Kakomo revealed the threats delivered to him through two separate leaflets, were pushed under the door of his restaurant on July 30 and August 8.

Copies of the leaflets shown to the Daily Monitor are written in Luganda, and alert the cleric to prepare for his death.

Anonymous authors
The anonymous authors of the leaflets specifically tell him to prepare for the day he will be gunned-down. “We have the capacity to accurately trace you using our wide-spread network and finish you. Nothing in this country can frustrate our hunt for you.” one of the leaflets reads in part.

The authors accuse Mr Kakomo of being a state spy with close links to security organs and fueling Muslim leadership wrangles in Masaka among other claims, all of which he denies.
“I have been a leader for 25 years and nobody has accused me of such.” he added. Sheikh Kakomo adds the only issue he may have is his strictness in protecting Muslim properties from grabbers, something he says he cannot abandon.

“I am living under a lot of fear and I no longer sleep in my home, but I will not abandon this cause,” he added.

No police action
He said although he reported the matter to police, no action has been taken, yet he continues to receive the threats.

Sheikh Kakomo revealed that similar threats have been sent to his wife through text messages and phone calls. This, he adds, has thrown the entire family into panic.

Mr Maxwell Ogwal, the Masaka regional police commander confirmed receiving complaints from sheikh Kakomo, saying they are following up the matter. He said, they had already notified the Police headquarters and were taking measures to guarantee his security, although he declined to divulge any further details.

Other threats
This comes days after another Muslim cleric in Amuru District, Sheikh Swadique Thabit Mustafa, asked government to provide him with security, citing assassination threats from rival Muslims in the district.

In July, Sheikh Hassan Kirya ,the former spokesperson for the Kibuli Muslim faction, was gunned down by unknown assailants at Bweyogere, a Kampala suburb, six months after he made similar claims.

Sheikh Kirya had earlier informed Uganda Police that he feared for his life after a number of Muslim clerics were killed in related incidents by unknown assailants.
Nine sheikhs have been gunned down in less than two years.

Police response
Police Chief Gen. Kale Kayihura has on several occasions said all the killings were being orchestrated by the Allied Democratic Force (ADF), a rebel outfit operating in Eastern part of DRC.
However, Muslim youth under the Uganda Muslim Youth Assembly, have since dismissed Kayihura’s theory of ADF killing sheikhs and prominent Muslims as mere speculation saying it is based on hearsay without carrying out systematic investigations.

editorial@ugnationmedia.com

Maj. Kiggundu and Maama Fiina had just celebrated a year in marriage. They wedded in November last at Kibuli mosque. His body was by taken to Mulago Hospital for post-mortem and would be buried at Nkowe cemetery on Hoima Road.

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