Police await Museveni order to arrest Zebra killers

Former National boxing team skipper Isaac Ssenyange alias Zebra Mando. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  • In his New Year message, President Museveni said the weak and corrupt police forced him to establish a military unit to deal with criminals who were threatening peace. 
  • He said in November, the military crack unit gunned down Joshua Ssemanda and Alex Sserunjogi, whom he alleged were “hard core criminals”, for resisting arrest on Nakivubo Channel in Kampala City.

Police have completed preliminary investigations into the killing of former national boxing captain Isaac Ssenyange, alias Mando Zebra, but said they cannot arrest the suspects until President Museveni has sanctioned the operation.

A police source, who preferred anonymity, said the Inspector General of Police, Mr Okoth Ochola, submitted the police report on the shooting of Ssenyange to President Museveni about two weeks ago, but they have not received a response from the President. 

Ssenyange was gunned down at night as he fled from his assailants, who attacked his home in St Francis Zone in Bwaise, a Kampala suburb, on December 30.
President Museveni later confirmed that Ssenyange was killed by military personnel and called the widow, Ms Mercy Mukankusi, to console the family. 
He promised to assign detectives to investigate the killing of Ssenyange hours before his scheduled meeting with Mr Museveni. 

Ssenyange was described as a supporter of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party.
The police source said CCTV footage clearly show the location where the killers came from before the shooting and their destination after the murder. 
The detectives have not yet talked to the suspects or recovered the firearms from them for further investigations. 

Legally, police have powers to investigate and arrest suspects, but in this case they cannot since the President is involved. They have to seek his permission first.
Last week, journalists asked the Minister of Internal Affairs, Gen Jeje Odongo, about the progress of this case, but he declined give any update. 

He instead asked the CID Director, Ms Grace Akullo, to give the progress of the case but she did not give any definitive update on the matter.
“The case of Zebra Ssenyange is under investigation so the country will be informed at an appropriate time,” she said.