KAMPALA, UGANDA: Police Constable Ivan Wabiwre, the officer who shot and killed an Indian money lender has been charged with murder and sent on remand to Luzira prison until June 7.
Wabwire, 30, learnt his fate on Wednesday after he appeared before the Buganda Road Chief Magistrate, Ms Sarah Tusiime, who read to him the murder charges but refused him to take plea due to the nature of his offence being capital in nature and that can only be heard by High Court.
“This court has no jurisdiction to hear your case so you will not be allowed to say anything,” Ms Tusiime ruled, adding; “In the circumstances, you will be remanded until June 7 for the mention of your case.”
Court heard from State Prosecution led by Ms Joan Keko that Ivan Wabwire, a resident of Central Police Station Barracks in Kampala on May 12 at Raja Chambers along Parliamentary Avenue in Kampala District with malice aforethought unlawfully killed Uttam Bhandari, the director of TFS Financial Services Ltd, a macro-lending institution in Kampala.
Ms Keko however told court that investigations into the officer’s murder case were to be concluded soon, except for one pending issue of checking the mental status of the accused
Wabwire was arrested on Sunday while trying to cross to Kenya via Busia border where he had run into hiding following his assassination of the Asian businessman last week on Friday.
According to footage collected by investigating officers, PC Wabwire fired over seven bullets in close range at Mr Bhandari, an incident that caused panic and forced other people who were in the office to run out for their lives.
Briefly after the initial shooting, Wabwire is seen returning to the office, checking some papers on the table, before he eventually finished off Bhandari with more bullets.
After the shooting PC Wabwire confidently moved out, jumped on a boda boda that dropped him at CPS Kampala. He returned the gun and asked a colleague to watch over it before he disappeared.
Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga in a statement on Monday confirmed that the officer attached to Kampala Central Police Station had been servicing a loan of Shs2, 130,000 he acquired from TFS Financial Services in 2020 and that the disagreement ensued between him and Bhandari after not accepting the payment terms of the loan.
The suspect acquired an initial loan from TFS Financial Services on August 5, 2020 of Shs1, 000,000 with an interest of 320,000 after 12 months. The total remittance is 1,320,000 and or 12 monthly instalments of Shs110,000. Again on the May 5, 2021, he acquired a second loan of Shs1,000,000 on similar terms, but defaulted on the loan,” police spokesperson Fred Enanga said.
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