SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS: One of the four assailants who ambushed outgoing Works minister, Gen Katumba Wamala, on Tuesday, used the same sub-machine gun that assassins of Maj Muhammed Kiggundu employed more than four years ago.
Sources close to the investigations told local newspaper the Daily Monitor that 56 cartridges recovered at the scene of crime were examined at the Government Analytical Laboratory (GAL) in Wandegeya, Kampala and the ballistic analysis showed the same AK-47 rifle was used this week.
Gunmen on motorcycles shot Maj Kiggundu dead in Masanafu, a Kampala suburb, on November 26, 2016, in a fashion similar to the Tuesday attack on Gen Katumba.
The general’s daughter Brenda Nantongo and driver Haruna Kayondo died in the volley of bullets unleashed by the assailants on Kisota Road in Kisaasi, another city outskirt. The gunmen, whose whereabouts remain unknown, fled on two big motorbikes.
At the funeral of Maj Kiggundu at Kibuli Mosque in 2016, Gen Katumba, who was by then the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), testified that he talked former ADF rebels including Maj Kiggundu out of the jungles of the DR Congo, rehabilitated and integrated them into UPDF.
Highly-placed security sources said last night that investigators are examining whether Katumba’s attackers were the gangs that killed Maj Kiggundu, or whether they just shared the same gun. The inquiries will also help establish motive and pattern.
In 2016, police linked Maj Kiggundu’s killing to ADF operatives that they said had infiltrated the country.
By last night, sources briefed on the investigation said that four civilian suspects were in custody while seven witnesses had recorded statements.
“We have recorded their statements and we have left them to go, but urged them not to speak to the community and press as well,” said the source, who asked not to be named.
An intelligence briefing reportedly prepared for President Museveni, who as the commander-in-chief is the overseer of the Katumba attack inquiries, details similar arrests and the progress made so far made in the investigations.
A multi-agency team of security experts was last night analysing a meta- data of electronic communication in Kisaasi neighbourhood before and shortly after the failed assassination.
They hope to use global positioning system (GPS) to locate of the callers in the area on Tuesday and attempt to isolate communication of the outlaws.
Three officers who were manning the Police Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) security cameras command centre in Kira Road Police Station have been arrested for alleged negligence, Police Political Commissar Asan Kasingye said.
Four ride-by shooters cornered Gen Katumba on the narrow Kisota Road, inter-connecting Bukoto-Kisaasi and Kisaasi-Kyanja roads, and shot him on the arms with one bullet still lodged in his body.
The former army commander and police chief and his bodyguard, Sgt Khalid Koboyoit, miraculously escaped despite the volley of 56 bullets that snapped the lives of 32-year-old Brenda and Kayondo.
Highly-placed sources said the analysts were scrutinising telephone call logs and electronic messaging data from telecom companies to map the possible contacts and movements of the attackers caught on at least seven CCTV security cameras shortly after the failed assassination – between 8:58am and 9:14am.
The footage released by police showed that the assailants after spraying Gen Katumba’s official car with bullets, paired up and rode on motorbikes in two different directions and could be seen making telephone calls on their mobile phone handsets.
Detectives said one set of the escapees was caught on CCTV cameras installed at Kikaya Flyover, Bukoto Oryx fuel station, Kira Road and Bukoto Church of Uganda.
The second pair was captured on CCTV cameras at Bukoto Flyover, Mariam Stage, Ssebagala Road and Kisaasi round-about, with access to Bahai – the route the assailants reportedly used to flee.
“Our CCTV footage does not show the suspected assailants before the scene,” a source said, adding that their exit points were blind spots.
Earlier, a source said a joint operational security task force was yet to officially receive findings of the ballistic examinations.