Ugandans are still reeling from the chilling murder of senior Police officer, Assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Felix Kaweesi. Kaweesi was shot several times on Friday morning by armed gun men who were moving on a motorcycle commonly known as “boda boda” in Uganda.
Kaweesi was killed alongside his driver, Police Constable Geofrey Mambewa, and his bodyguard Corporal Erau Kenneth in an upscale area of Kulambiro, about 100 meters from his home. He was heading to work at 9:30 when gunmen swung into action taking the deceased by surprise.
“This morning at around 9:30 we experienced very unfortunate incident where AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi was shot dead together with his driver and bodyguard,” Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson Emilian Kayima confirmed the incident.
Police hurriedly cordoned off the scene of crime as investigations into the gruesome murder of the man who doubled as their director for human resources development took shape.
The Inspector General of Police General Kale Kaihura was rushed to the scene as well as the CIID boss Grace Akullo, and Minister for Security Brigadier Henry Tumukunde.
Briefly speaking to the media hours after the incident, General Kaihura noted that forensic experts were at the scene of crime trying to piece together what happened, taking eye witness accounts to help with investigations.
According to Kaihura gunmen first shot in the air and later shot the rear tyres of the vehicle bringing it to a halt. It is at this point that the gunmen opened rapid fire on the three occupants of the car.
“It’s still early, we cannot give you anything more than that, and we do not have to speculate at this stage,” he said.
Hundreds of members of the public flocked to the scene of crimes where a black vehicle and the bodies of the three policemen lied with blood spilled on the ground.
The bodies of the deceased men were put in a police ambulance and taken to Mulago national referral hospital for further investigations and postmortem. Relatives and friends stormed the mortuary as the news about Kaweesi’s chilling murder spread like wildfire in the media.
President Museveni condemned in the strongest terms the killing of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi by thugs riding on motorcycles.
The President has directed the immediate installation of cameras in all major towns of Uganda and along the highways.
“We have been planning to do this project for some time but we have been postponing it on account of other priorities like the roads and electricity. Since, however, these thugs think they can use this remaining gap in our otherwise robust security framework, I have decided and directed the Minister of Finance to work with Police to immediately close this gap,” read part of the statement issued by President Museveni.
Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda described the death of Police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi as big loss to the police force and the country. Rugunda said that Kaweesi diligently conducted his responsibilities and had the country at heart.
He appealed to the public to avoid speculation. In his reaction to the gruesome murder of Police spokesman Felix Kaweesi, Rugunda asked the public to allow Police to conduct its investigations into the murder and will later come up with a full report on the matter.
Opposition Democratic Party president Norbert Mao described Kaweesi as a highly intelligent and educated person who had turned into a tool of a regime that does not respect the law and democracy.
Former FDC Presidential candidate retired Col. Kiiza Besigye said the murder of Kaweesi is an obvious indication that Uganda has now been turned into a mafia state where organized crime is carried out.
According to Besigye this should worry all citizens and there is a need to find a way of confronting this menace in a deliberate and decisive way as mafias are targeting individuals within the law and justice sector.
“There is a mafia state. This should worry all citizens. Because mafia states tend to get deeper and deeper into criminal control of the state and need to step back reflect and see how to get out of this.”
Besigye has described the murder of Assistant IGP Kaweesi as shocking and paralyzing, and should serve as another wake up call for the public to know that the country is in deep trouble.
“The regime that is part of the mafia state won’t get out of it by itself, all citizens must be involved. This is a call to the citizens that we need to all come up and regain control of our country, regain control of our state institutions,” he opined.
The Former Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] president Kiiza Besigye reiterated the call for thorough investigations into the bloody murder of the Assistant Inspector General of Police.
Besigye says the manner in which the police officer was gunned down and the horror it depicts is evident that these were not casual criminals who put the three men out of action.
“These are not people who are casual criminals, some hired guns to come and execute and run away. How can people be so confident to in broad daylight come and kill people whom they know are armed, and deliberately ensure they are dead before they live not just shoot and run. They just stayed there, made sure their targets were completely eliminated,” said Col. Besigye.
Security Minister General Henry Tumukunde appealed for calm among Ugandans saying the Police are putting together pieces to find the murderers of Police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi.
Kaweesi was killed in a similar pattern as Muslim clerics Sheikh Dakhtur Muwaya, Sheikh Hassan Kirya and Mustafa Bahiga among others.
Former Senior Principal State attorney Joan Kagezi was also killed in a similar manner in March 2015 in Ntinda outskirt of Kampala..
This event marks the second prominent security officer to be gunned down by armed men moving on a motorcycle in the space of four months.
UPDF officer Major Muhammad Kiggundu was put out of action in a similar manner when assailants opened fire on his army vehicle killing him instantly and his body guard on the morning of 27 November, 2016.
The Uganda Communications Commission has ordered all television broadcasters to refrain from the repeated broadcast of the gruesome images of the murder of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi. In a statement issued, UCC Executive director Godfrey Mutabazi noted that extra decorum must be displayed taking into consideration the feelings of the bereaved, and being respectful of the dead.