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How ‘fake eyewitnesses’ hoodwinked police in UCU student murder probe to get govt allowances

The duo presented IDs showing that they were undercover detectives attached to the State House Anti-Corruption Unit, which made the investigators from the CMI, ISO, and CID to believe in them.

SCP Fred Enanga addresses the media. (PHOTO/ URN)

KAMPALA, UGANDA: The investigations into the circumstances surrounding the killing of Bewatte Betungura, a former law student of Uganda Christian University (UCU), during the chaotic Makerere University guild campaigns seem to have hit a snag because of fake witnesses.

Betungura met his death in July after being stabbed with a broken bottle on the neck on the eve of the botched Makerere University guild elections.
The clashes broke out between the Northcote Revolutionary Army (NRA), which was guarding the Forum for Democratic Change-FDC guild presidential candidate Justus Tukamushaba, and the Rat Guard Brigade (RGB), which was guarding the National Unity Platform-NUP candidate, Lawrence Alionz alias Dangote.

When the heads of spy and violent crime agencies told their teams to look for the people who killed Betungura, two young men, Aaron Aronda and Ali Kange, quickly came forward as witnesses to the fight and said they would help police find the killers.

Aronda and Kange presented identity cards showing that they were undercover detectives attached to the State House Anti-Corruption Unit, which made the investigators from the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, Internal Security Organization, Criminal Investigations Detectives, and Crime Intelligence believe them.

The investigators have been relying on the duo’s accounts to find Betungura’s killers. However, along the way, the investigators realised that the duo’s narrative wasn’t matching information obtained from the footage captured by Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras as well as videos that were recorded by students who were part of the groups.

For instance, Aronda and Kange gave contradicting narrations of the spot where the incidents that led to Betungura’s death happened. The contradiction was the first indicator that the duo was cooking up stories because Betungura, according to students at Makerere University, and CCTV footage, was attacked near Nsibirwa Hall junction.

The Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga, said the security team decided to take Aronda and Kange to Makerere a few days ago to reconstruct the scene of the crime. To the shock of the security team, the two purported witnesses pointed to different scenes.

Enanga explained that after confirming that Aronda and Kange were masqueraders, security agencies tasked them with revealing their true identities. The duo revealed that they were not at Makerere University but just wanted to benefit from allowances provided for under the witness protection Act.

Security has since established that the duo have been sleeping in hotels in Kireka, Nsambya, Luweero, and Kikoni for free after convincing hotel managers that they were State House spies and their bills would be catered for by the government.

It should be remembered that seven people have been arrested in connection with Betungura’s death. The Deputy Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire, identified some of the suspects as Kassanda South MP Frank Kabuye, Allan Ssekidde, and Muzafaru Kabuurwa. The suspects were released on police bond after being charged with inciting violence. Police have decided to drop the false leads provided by Aronda and Kange, which has stalled the investigations.

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