Alleged assassins speak out on Katumba attack

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What you need to know:

Two pairs of assassins set off from different points, one from Bahai Temple side, and the other from Bukoto side, according to images captured on police CCTV cameras.

Security agencies last evening announced a major breakthrough in investigations into the attempted assassination of Works minister, Gen Katumba Wamala, culminating in the killing of one alleged mastermind and the arrest of four accomplices.

Four gunmen riding on two motorcycles ambushed Gen Katumba, a former chief of Defence Forces, in Kampala’s Kisaasi suburb exactly one month ago yesterday.

The assailants fired a volley of bullets on the official vehicle of the four-star general, injuring him in both arms and killing his daughter Brenda Nantongo and driver Haruna Kayondo.

Yesterday’s breakthrough announced by Maj Gen Paul Lokech, the inspector general of police, offered a detailed account of a sophisticated tracking and sustained surveillance that resulted in a sting operation to kill one of the suspects and capture of others.

The operation also led to the recovery of an assault rifle, one that ballistic experts identified as the same gun used in killing of former police spokesman Andrew Felix Kaweesi as well as Maj Muhammed Kiggundu.

This newspaper broke news of the gun in its June 4 edition, the same day President Museveni, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, confirmed the details during a televised address.

Security forces reported yesterday that they got five suspects, including the one who was shot dead, that they alleged were members of, and running active secret cells, of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) headquartered in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

In its heydays, the ADF operated mainly in western Uganda where its fighters torched schools, killed or abducted students or set portions of Kasese town alight while the signature incursion into Kampala involved tossing grenades into bars.

Uganda’s military previously reported to have significantly degraded the capability of the rebel group, but intelligence agencies have lately said the scattered rebels are bunching up again as an affiliate of the east and central African group of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Police yesterday named the arrested suspects as Kamada Walusimbi, alias Mudinka, Hussein Wahab Lubwama alias Master, Siriman Kisambira, alias Mukwasi, Mustafa Kawawa Ramadan, alias Amin, alias Musa, Muhammad Kagugube, alias Bafumoya.

Maj Gen Lokech told a media briefing at police headquarters in Naguru yesterday that Lubwama and another suspect, still on the run but identified by nickname, Kanaabe, who shot Gen Katumba and killed Nantongo and Kayondo on June 1.

Lubwama was the head of assailants, he said.

“Lubwama was put out of action as he was trying to fight my personnel,” Maj Gen Lokech added, referring to the killing of the suspect the police reported had turned violent and even disarmed a policeman.

Police displayed a photograph of Lubwama bleeding through the mouth after a bullet caught him in the head before he shortly afterwards succumbed to the injury.

Some police sources said his death is a big blow to the investigation of Gen Katumba’s shooting and other cases where he is alleged to have participated including two incidents in which three police officers were killed and guns taken.

According to the investigation report, Lubwama operated under the supervision of Sheikh Abudin Hubaida Taheel Bukenya, an ex-ADF combatant, who was given Amnesty.

“He (Lubwama) provided all logistics of guns, motorbikes, mobile phones and facilitation used in the surveillance and execution,” Maj Gen Lokech said.

Lubwama is alleged to have assigned Muhammad Kagugube to track the movement of Gen Katumba from his home. Kagugube communicated to his colleagues once Gen Katumba’s official vehicle started leaving his home and joined Kisota Road that connects Kisaasi-Kyanja and Bukoto-Kisaasi roads.

Two pairs of assassins set off from different points, one from Bahai Temple side and the other from Bukoto side, according to images captured on police Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras.

Walusimbi, a rider, and alleged shooter Kanaabe, who was his passenger, set off before 7am. Another team led by Lubwama, alias Master, seen in video clips wearing a striped T-shirt, and his rider Kawawa also hit the road.

The two groups were spotted on police CCTV cameras at 8:30am moving to the scene. Lubwama was seen around Bahai Temple area while Kanaabe was seen around Bukoto. Both were passengers on motorcycles.

Investigators said Kagugube gave real-time update to the attackers about the location of Gen Katumba’s car.

The suspects told security personnel that they agreed to attack around Kisota Road.

At the crime scene, Kanaabe took the left side of Gen Katumba’s car while Lubwama took the right side, detectives said.

Kanaabe and Lubwama started shooting from both sides.

Kanaabe is said to have shot Gen Katumba’s daughter and the driver.

The shooter told security officers that they drove off after fire was returned against them by Gen Katumba’s bodyguard Khalid Koboyoit.

A few metres from the scene, Lubwama could be seen on CCTV with a gun covered with a cloth and he connected to the Northern Bypass flyover and could be seen rotating within Bukoto to hand the gun over to the assailant.

Walusimbi told detectives after arrest that he rode back to Bukoto near Oryx Petrol Station where they handed over the gun to Kagugube.

Kagugube told police that the gun was concealed in banana leaves and placed in an empty TV box before it was delivered to Siriman Kisambira’s home at Kawanda village, where it was recovered by the police.


The recovered gun is linked to the murder of Maj Kiggundu, Kaweesi and a series of robberies.

Maj Gen Lokech said the two suspects, Ismael Hussein Sserubula and Siraji Yusuf Nyanzi, who were charged in court and remanded to prison over the murder of Nantongo and Kayondo, and attempted murder of Gen Katumba last week, had a role in the plot.

He claimed that the duo had both physical and telephone contacts with the newly-arrested suspects.

The arrest of Kagugube followed a tip-off that led detectives to the arrest of one suspect after another.

Police are yet to arrest Kanaabe, who headed the plot, and Bukenya, the alleged head of the Kampala ADF cell.

Police investigations revealed that the suspects travelled from DRC, Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania.

Police terrorism experts had earlier warned of ADF’s links to terror groups fighting in northern Mozambique.

The Mozambican government arrested several Ugandans that had travelled from eastern DRC to northern Mozambique without proper documents. The suspects, including women, couldn’t account for their journey.

Previous incidents

Andrew Felix Kaweesi

The former police spokesperson was assassinated in Kulambiro, Kampala alongside his bodyguard Kenneth Erau and driver Geoffrey Wambewo on March 17, 2017.

Joan Kagezi

The former senior state prosecutor was gunned down in Kiwatule, Kampala on March 30, 2015. However, no suspect has ever been arrested to date.

Sheikh Maj Muhammad Kiggundu

He was gunned down together with his bodyguard Sgt Steven Mukasa in Masanafu, Rubaga Division, on November 26, 2016.

Sheikh Ibrahim Hassan Kirya

The former spokesperson of the Kibuli Muslim faction was gunned down in Bweyogerere, Wakiso District, on June 30, 2015.