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REVEALED: Col Engola ordered killer bodyguard off his security before shooting

Pte Sabiiti was deployed to Col Engola’s security team only a month ago after he had been sent away from Ft Capt Mukula’s detail because the team leader had detected acts of indiscipline in his conduct.

UPDF officers keep guard in Kyanja on May 2, 2023 after Pte Wilson Sabiiti shot dead State Minister for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations Charles Engola from his home. PHOTO | ISAAC KASAMANI

KAMPALA, UGANDA: PTE Wilson Sabiiti, the UPDF soldier who on Tuesday morning shot and killed the State Minister for Labour, Col (rtd) Charles Okello Engola had a bitter exchange with his boss before he pulled the trigger.

It has been revealed that the Minister had 5 bodyguards at his residence including Pte Wilson Sabiiti (dead), Ronald Otim the ADC (who was wounded), Senyonga, Jasper and a driver that remains unidentified.

A detailed account of the investigation indicates that on Tuesday morning, Sabiiti who had for long been complaining of mistreatment reportedly approached the Minister who was already in the Toyota Landcruiser awaiting one of the escorts to remove the cover draping the Uganda Flag in front of the SUV.

IT is alleged by eyewitnesses at the scene of crime that the disgruntled Sabiiti told the Minister in a strong voice to either work on his facilitation or release him and he goes back to the commanding battalion in Bombo barracks.

In response, the Minister (being a trained government official and retired soldier) rubbished him maintaining he should stay at his residence because he no longer wants him on the motorcade.

At the time of the bitter exchange, Sabiiti was unarmed, according to an eyewitness account. “He now went into his room and picked up the AK4 with around three magazines. He first fired around 15 bullets which shattered the front door of the co-driver.”

In the shooting spree, Sabiti injured the ADC, Otim, while the driver jumped out of the SUV and climbed the wall fence to alert soldiers of the lead car.

Preliminary investigations into the murder incident have further established that the five soldiers have been staying at house the minister rented a few meters from his home, and by the time they responded to the gunshots, Sabiiti had already pulled a trigger firing a number of bullets at his boss who was seated at the back.

“He first shot his legs, then the Minister attempted to get out of the car and he finished him as he laid on the ground,” investigations further reveal.

On Monday, being a public holiday- Labour Day- Engola whose ministry was in charge of the organization of the event in Namutumba District, the soldiers were meant to sign facilitation but it was not availed to them.

The soldier is said to have approached Engola on Monday asked for financial assistance, and the minister reportedly directed that Shs140,000 be sent to the guard’s personal mobile number, but Sabiiti instead gave them another number to send the money to, saying he was indebted to the telecom company under his own number.

According to eyewitnesses, the disgruntled officer had pleaded with the minister to at least intervene and save the situation because he has a pregnant wife and his children have been out of school over fees. but all fell on his principal’s deaf ears.

Earlier onlookers said while on a shooting spree, he shouted “salary salary salary” before took his life in at a nearby salon around Kyanja Ring Road in Kisasi, a Kampala suburb.

This website has further established that Sabiiti’s colleagues have been taken to relevant offices to record statements of what transpired.

Minister Charles Engola was the elected MP representing Oyam North and the State Minister for Labour and Employee Relations.

He also served as a junior Minister of Defence, the LC5 Chairperson for Lira district, and also headed a battalion in Gulu before he was promoted to Colonel and retired in 2007.

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He was very instrumental in Operation Lightning Thunder which ended the LRA rebel operations in Northern Uganda.

Recent shootings

A number of high-profile people in the country have been gunned down. Majority of these died on spot apart from the Minister of Transport and Works, Gen Edward Wamala who survived.

Gen Edward Katumba Wamala (June 1, 2021). Gen Wamala was attacked by gunmen  near Kisaasi, a Kampala suburb. The shooters opened fire on his vehicle, leaving his daughter Brenda Nantongo and driver dead. Gen Wamala and his bodyguard, Sgt Khalid Koboyoiti survived death.

Ibrahim Abiriga (June 8, 2018).

 The former Arua Municipality MP was shot dead alongside his brother Saidi Buga Kongo in Kawanda, Wakiso District.

Muhammad Kirumira (September 8, 2018).  The former Buyende District Police Commander, ASP Muhammad Kirumira was killed alongside his friend Resty Nalinya at Bulenge Trading Centre, Wakiso District.

AIGP Felix Kaweesi (March 17, 2017). Former Assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Felix Kaweesi was brutally assassinated alongside his driver Godfrey Wambewo and bodyguard Kenneth Erau at Kulambiro outside Kampala just as he was being driven to work. 

Mohammed Kiggundu (November 26, 2016).

One of the former commanders of the rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), Sheikh Maj Mohammed Kiggundu was shot dead by motorcycle-riding gunmen at Masanafu, a Kampala suburb. 

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Sheikh Ibrahim Hassan Kirya (June 30, 2015).  The former spokesperson of the Kibuli Muslim faction was gunned down in Bweyogerere, Wakiso District.

Joan Kagezi (March 30, 2015).

The senior state prosecutor was gunned down in Kiwatule near St Mbaaga Tuzinde Catholic Church, about 2.7 kms from Gen Katumba’s home in Bulabira, Najjera in Wakiso District.

 Sheikh Mustafa Bahiga (December 25, 2014).  He was gunned down at Bwebajja Mosque on Entebbe Road.

Sheikh Muhammad Maganda (August 2012). Gunned down in Bugiri Town in August 2012.

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