What you need to know:
- Detectives take two suspects into custody as they string incriminating evidence in a case where the victim was decapitated and torso dismembered and her nose and ears buried separately in a broken whisky bottle.
The remains of a yet-to-be identified woman, which detectives said were chopped into at least 18 pieces, have been recovered from a septic tank in Kampala’s Makindye Division.
This is the fifth such macabre discovery since 2019 in Makindye, a Kampala City division mapped in police reports as rife with crime despite having some of the wealthiest neighbourhoods such as Munyonyo and Muyenga.
Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, Mr Patrick Onyango, yesterday said they had taken into custody two suspects – the landlady on whose premises the dismembered body was found and a male tenant who could not explain blood stains in his room.
Witnesses said law enforcement officials on the first day of search on Monday recovered the chopped torso, which made them believe the victim was decapitated during her killing or shortly afterwards.
“On Monday, our officers at Katwe Police Station visited the crime scene with police fire brigade and retrieved some body parts from the septic tank, but some body parts like the head were still missing,” said Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesman Patrick Onyango .
The scene of crime officers the next day recovered the head, but found the nose and ears cut off and stuffed inside a broken Black Label whisky bottle and buried in polythene bag a few metres from the rented houses.
The private parts of the victim were missing, investigators said, leaving open the question of whether this was a ritual murder or killing for other reasons.
“We have arrested the prime suspects, they are currently detained at Katwe Police Station as investigations into the matter continue,” Mr Onyango added.
At the scene, curious residents of Kapeke Village and passerby yesterday huddled along filthy alleys of the slum neighbourhood, most craning their necks in the mid-morning sun to catch a glimpse of the homicide detectives and their work. It is not clear when the killing happened, but some residents placed the incident to have occurred mid last week.
One neighbour, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, said they heard night scuffle in the room of the male suspect, which they assumed was a physical confrontation between husband and wife, and were stunned by his arrest to help in the murder inquiries.
A family member alerted police after horrid stench led him and his mother, now in custody, to open the septic tank on the compound where they saw floating parts of human body.
We are not naming the suspects for legal reasons. The detained woman and her husband are estranged and live in different parts of the city and their son, a football coach, had come to visit the mother in Kapeke Zone at the time of the discovery.
The first officers informed of the incident were those at Nabisalu Police Station who in turn informed their superiors at Katwe Divisional Police headquarters.
Mr Muhammed Musoke, the chairman of Kapeke Zone, said “the body [of the victim] was cut into different pieces”.
“We got all other parts, but the private parts were missing,” he said.
The remains have been taken to the city morgue in Mulago, pending autopsy to establish identity of the deceased and cause of death.
Mr Musoke said some body parts were wrapped in gunny bag while others were stuffed into a red coat believed to belong to the male suspect who he said grew up in the area and was known to him.
Detectives said it was still early to know when the suspects, if at all, will be arraigned in the court but that police are treating the killing as a murder case.
Makindye and bodies recovered in septic tank
September 5, 2023: unidentified female body was retrieved from the septic tank in Kapeke zone, Kibuye 11 parish, Makindye Division, Kampala District. The body parts were chopped into 18 pieces.
January 2022: The remains of Patrick Turyasingura were pulled out of an incomplete building in Makindye Division after he was reported missing earlier in the same month.
January 2021: Accountant Francis Onebe alleges that security forces abducted his wife, Immaculate Mary Blessing, but police eight months later find her decomposing body inside the septic tank at their marital home in Munyonyo, Kampala.
October 2021: The body of a man posthumously identified as Leonard Kato was found in a septic tank at Kampala International University in Kansanga in the city’s Makindye Division.
2019: The body of International Hospital Kampala (IHK) doctor Catherine Agaba, who went missing on April 13 of that year, found dumped in a septic tank in Muyenga, a Kampala suburb of the wealthy.