The deceased national boxing team coach and former captain of the Bombers, Isaac Zebra Ssenyange, sent a voice message on his WhatsApp group moments before he was attacked at his home on Tuesday night, warning his colleagues to remain indoors so as to avoid trouble with security.
Ssenyange, who has been an executive member of the Uganda Professional Boxing Commission headed by Salim Uhuru, recorded and sent a voice message to his group, Zebra Boxing Club, which he formed, that includes several boxers and trainees.
A boxer in the group, who did not want to be identified, said Ssenyange sent the message at about 10:17pm on Tuesday night from his living room where he was watching television.
The colleague said earlier, Ssenyange had watched a soccer match in a local video hall, and returned home at half time.
In the message, Ssenyange thanked one member who he referred to as Baker for alerting colleagues that the Police and other security personnel had deployed heavily in the area to enforce the curfew.
“Thanks Baker for the alert. You have done well to warn us. This is one of the reasons we formed the group, so that if anybody gets an alert, they can share it with others instantly,” he posted.
In the message, Ssenyange further advised his colleagues to stay indoors lest they don’t live to see the new year or spend it behind bars.
“Thanks Baker again for the alert. I have also just heard the sound of gunshots in the neighbourhood. We should continue sharing such important information in the group,” he posted.
The colleague said he read the message but moments later received information that Ssenyange had been killed.
“I rushed to the scene, he had just been killed and the body abandoned., It was hard to recognise the face because he had huge wounds,” he said, adding that he only identified him by the clothes he was wearing when they met earlier in Bwaise trading centre.
The colleague said they learnt that the killers first went to Ssenyange’s gym where they also train in boxing and martial arts. The assailants reportedly kidnapped his assistant, Robert Mukasa aka Soldier, who allegedly led them to Ssnyange’s home.
The assailants are said to have gone with Mukasa after shooting Ssenyange and the family were still looking for him. He has not been seen again and his known phone line is switched off.
Charles Twiine, the CID spokesperson, confirmed that Mukasa’s father had reported a case of a missing person at Kawempe Police Station.
He said the Police obtained a statement from the father who informed them that he had received a phone call from a stranger informing him that they had come across a body at Bombo, which they suspected to be his son.
Twiine said the Police in Kawempe were making efforts to contact several people in Bombo and elsewhere but they had not yet received any information confirming a dead person.
He, however, said the Police had obtained a number of leads from the scene of crime and were analysing CCTV footage from the various cameras, which he hoped would lead them to the killers.
“We have made several contacts in Bombo, but cannot confirm whether he is dead or alive. There are high hopes that we shall arrest these senseless killers,” Twiine said.
The Kampala Metropolitan Police deputy spokesman, Luke Owoyesigyire, said the Police had not confirmed any death, but were still making efforts to follow possible clues in search of Mukasa.
“As far as we are concerned, we have a report of a missing person. We have not yet confirmed the death,” he said.
Ssenyange’s wife, Mercy Mukankusi, who is the coach of the national team — Lady Bombers, said Soldier was assisting her husband in training and managing the gym.
“The killers went to the gym and arrested Soldier who was sleeping there. We later learnt that they went with him,” she said, adding that the gym is in Bugalani Zone, a short distance from their home.
She said her husband was an NRM party supporter and had never got involved with opposition activities.
Ssenyange was yesterday buried at Mukyondo zone, Kanzize in Masuulita, Wakiso district.