Kampala. More witnesses of the Tuesday altercation at Quality Shopping Village in Namugongo, Wakiso District, which culminated in the shooting dead of Arnold Mugisha Ainebyona, have spoken out.
In accounts offered to this publication in various interviews at the shopping mall, the witnesses claimed that one of the three car occupants insulted Moses Ongoria, a Saracen guard, who had intervened on behalf of a colleague, to prevent Ainebyona from driving away.
The 26-year-old, a co-owner of Hickory Bar & Restaurant in Kololo a Kampala upscale area, was stopped from leaving pending a resolution of a matter in which a trolley they used to wheel water from the supermarket rolled to hit a parked car reportedly belonging to a female customer.
Witness guard speaks
A guard, who witnessed the Tuesday spat, but who declined to disclose his name, said Ainebyona and his friends turned furious when Saracen guard Awaze Babu first restrained them from leaving.
Guard Ongoria, who had been watching the spat from a distance, intervened. “The other people [in Ainebyona’s] car started insulting him (Ongoria), telling him how he could do anything to them,” one of the witnesses we spoke to, said.
This angered Ongoria, the witness recounted. He paced hurriedly to the guard house from where he returned with a gun, warning the car occupants not to drive out or else he would shoot at them.
They ignored him, opting to ignite the vehicle. The guard, according to another witness, cocked his gun and shot Ainebyona through the mouth before fleeing into a net of mob that beat him to pulp.
Well-wishers saved Ongoria from the menacing crowd and he was taken to Mulago hospital.
His whereabouts remained unclear yesterday after health workers at the facility told this Daily Monitor that the patient had been discharged while police insisted he is hospitalised.
Our reporter failed to find Ongoria on the hospital bed in the Casualty Ward where he was booked on Tuesday. A nurse, who declined to be named, said their records showed he had been discharged.
Back at Quality Shopping Village in Namugongo, another witness, who also sought anonymity, said guard Babu was humble in his approach to Ainebyona and colleagues but Ongoria, whom he had known for some time, “is not an easy man”.
Ongoria reportedly spurned Babu’s warning to him not to shoot. He cocked his gun and allegedly shot after the trio defied repeated instructions to stay put.
At the spot of the shooting, close to a tree in the parking lot directly in front of main entrance to the shopping mall, there was no evidence of the bloody encounter.
The paved surface was spotless since Ainebyona, according to multiple accounts, was shot inside a car and bled to death as he was rushed to Independent Hospital in Ntinda, a city suburb.
Managers at the mall told police detectives that onsite Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras did not record the incident due to obstruction by a tree on the premises.
Business at the mall, which was momentarily closed following the Tuesday incident, was back to normal and thriving. Guards checked vehicles and frisked incoming shoppers while those leaving drove out seamlessly.
An armed female guard patrolled the car parking yard.
Saracen company, according to a boda boda who stages within the premises of the mall, swapped the night and day-time guards shortly after the fatal shooting.
“None of the security guards that were here yesterday (on Tuesday) are around [yesterday], but these are not new guys; most of them have been doing the night shift,” the rider said, asking not to be named.
Colleagues speak out
Calvin Omondi, Chef of Hickory Bar and Restaurant. He was a very good man. I came here looking for a job , he interviewed me and gave me the job right away.
Isaac Olweny, General manager of Hickory Bar and Restaurant. He was more than a friend. We became blood brothers. I knew him since 2012 when he was still at school. We last had a meeting with him on Sunday at 9pm. We were brainstorming on how to make the business more vibrant. He employed 53 workers in this bar and restaurant.
Andrew Atuhaire, Chef. He was a very good, approachable boss, one of those rare bosses I have worked with who even consulted whether his own ideas were feasible to move the business forward.
Edison Tumwine -Steward. I worked with him since this bar and restaurant started last year in July but I never heard that he mistreated anyone at anytime.
Racheal Gimbo, waitress. I knew the late in April this year when I walked in here looking for a job and he gave me immediately. He was very charming and a lovely man compared to my previous bosses.
Immaculate Katusiime, chef. I came here when I did not know anything to do with catering but he ensured that the senior chefs trained me to the level where I am. This was a very good person.
Christine Itungo, hostess. I met the late a month ago and I was impressed because he was smiling and very carefree when talking, above all, he was a good listener and always gave positive feedback, he was also very intelligent.
Mariam Lemukol, neighbour in Kiwatule. He was very peaceful and he never liked chaotic situations.
Jade Lukyamuzi, driver. He was down to earth and my respect for him started the very first day I met him. He treated me with a lot of respect which made me respect him.
Mande Ndizairayo Supervisor F &B. I knew him in August last year. He used to be a client at my former workplace Canteen Divino in Kololo where he lured me to come and supervise his business. He was the best boss. compared