Family members and eyewitnesses have said that the assailant who gunned down Sheikh Masuudi Mutumba, an imam in Bugiri District in eastern Uganda, trailed him from the trading centre to his home.
Sheikh Mutumba was gunned down at his home in Busimba village, Iwemba Sub County, on Friday night.
He was shot twice through the left ear and one bullet was retrieved from his head during a post-mortem carried out at Bugiri General Hospital.
The deceased’s 10-year-old child whose names have been withheld said that he accompanied his father to purchase sugar from Iwemba trading centre, and saw a man trailing them but mistook him for a guest.
“I saw a man behind us but I didn’t mind him, and immediately when we reached home, my father received a call and when he went out for better network, the man who was clad in a black hood shot him twice in the head and fled the scene,” the child told this reporter.
Mr Shakim Ndaga, a retail trader whose shop is about 30 meters away from Sheikh Mutumba’s home, said that he saw the suspected assailant fleeing the scene but couldn’t recognise him.
“I saw the suspected assailant fleeing the scene but I didn’t trail him. We alerted police officers who arrived 45 minutes later. The delay by the police to arrive at the scene gave the assailant plenty of time to escape,” he said.
Mr Kasim Babinga, the county Khadhi of Iwemba said that the deceased led Juma prayers on Friday where they discussed issues concerning their security.
“In September, several Sheikhs within Bugiri District including the deceased raised complaints concerning continuous threats against their lives. We had resolved to avoid early morning and night prayers for the sake of our safety, but the LCV Chairperson, Mr Azalwa Marijan assured us that the suspects had been arrested, and in the end we have lost one of our own,” he said.
Mr Jeff Ssebuyungo, the Bugiri District Police Commander said that residents intimated to him that the assailant fled to Kapyanga Sub County where his alleged accomplices sped off in a Toyota Ipsum. However, efforts to trail them were frustrated after the police patrol vehicle suffered a flat tyre.
Mutumba, 60, has been serving as the Iwemba deputy county Khadi and is survived by one wife, Safina Nabirye and ten children.
The Police spokesperson for Busoga East, Mr James Mubi said four people had so far been arrested to help police with investigations.
“They are detained at Bugiri police station as the hunt for more suspects continues," he said.
Additional reporting by YAZID YOLISIGIRA