KAMPALA- The arrest yesterday of three men, who police categorised as “prime suspects” in the killing of Maria Nagirinya and her driver Ronald Kitayimbwa, has emboldened detectives to announce that they are closing in on the motive of the killing.
The duo was abducted at the gate of Nagirinya’s place of abode in Busega-Kibumbiro in Rubaga Division in Kampala and their bodies later found dumped in a desolate place off Mukono-Kayunga road in Mukono District.
Nagirinya, 28, worked as a project manager at Community Integrated Development Initiative (CIDI), a Kampala-based not-for-profit organisation, and she had hired Kitayimbwa, a boda boda rider-cum-special hire driver, to chauffer her home that fateful night following a visit to a mutual friend.
One of the suspects, according to Closed Camera Television (CCTV) footage released by police, was a brawny man captured driving late Nagirinya’s Spacio vehicle, registration UBA 570V. The car was later abandoned in Rubaga Division.
At a press conference at police headquarters in Naguru, a city suburb, police said they picked the latest suspects from Nateete, another Kampala outskirt, where they were reportedly hiding after the image of one of them grabbed in by a CCTV camera circulated widely.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga described the arrest as a major breakthrough in investigation into the killings that detectives are treating as murder. “The man, who was captured by our CCTV camera driving the victim’s vehicle is among those arrested. We recovered the red jacket he was wearing on that day. It is being subjected to forensic examination to compare it with the particles that were found in the abandoned car,” Mr Enanga said.
In total, six suspects are in custody in connection with the murder.
Among the suspects are boda boda cyclists, who allegedly transported the suspects to Nagirinya’s residence the night of the abduction of the duo.
Mr Enanga said more evidence linking the suspects to the crime has been recovered by detectives after searching their houses.
“We found a mobile phone SIM card of Kitayimbwa in one of the suspect’s house. We also discovered that the suspects had withdrawn money from the mobile phones of the victims. The investigation is on how they did it since they had no passwords. We are going to reach out to the telecom companies,” he said.
Forensic experts are also still comparing the fingerprints they lifted from the victim’s car against those of the suspects to see if they match.
Seven other people who were arrested as they blocked police from arresting the key suspects are to be taken to court on charges of obstruction and police said this could happen as early as today.