KAMPALA, UANDA: Police Monday confirmed that the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) is holding a senior police officer at the rank of Superintendent of Police (SP) for allegedly hiring out the gun used in last month’s shooting of one Ronald Mukisa, 45, a legal officer working with IBC Advocates in Kampala.
An unknown gunman shot Mukisa dead at his home in Ndejje Division of Makindye-Ssabagabo Municipality of Wakiso District on May 30, 2023.
A video clip of the incident that went viral in the aftermath of the shooting showed that the victim did not die of the initial gunshot wounds and the assailant returned to finish him off with extra bullets.
While addressing journalists on Monday in Kampala, Police Spokesperson SCP Fred Enanga said SP Vincent Irama, the deputy commander of Kampala Metropolitan Police North Region, was picked up by joint security forces over the weekend after ballistic analysis showed shells of bullets recovered at the scene of a paralegal’s killing were discharged from a finger-printed police gun.
Others being held to help with the inquiries include SP Irama’s brother Robert Irama Kareodu, a businessman, the latter’s wife and a UPDF soldier who deserted from deployment under ongoing Operation Shuajaah in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).
“The joint security task team of Criminal Investigations Directorate, Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence and [Police] Crime Intelligence that have actively been investigating the violent murder of a city [paralegal] … made a breakthrough and arrested four key suspects, who were involved in the planning and killing of [paralegal],” Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga said.
How the execution of Mukisa was conducted
According to preliminary police investigations, the deceased legal officer had a number of business dealing with one Robert Karedu and his wife, Brenda Nalwoga and the three were known with each other.
Enanga explains that after falling out over a deal gone bad, Karedu and his wife plotted to kill the legal officer and since they were known to the senior police officer, he accepted to give out the gun for the mission.
“Cpl Anyuse, a self-appointed bodyguard to Karedu was then hired as a hitman and on the fateful day, he got a gun that was supplied to him by SP Irama. He trailed the victim up to his home and after parking the vehicle and coming to close the gate, that is when he shot four bullets within two intervals which killed the victim,” Enanga noted.
He (Enanga) added that investigations have indicated that after the shooting that happened at Kitiko Birongo in Ndejje division, Makindye Ssaabagabo in Wakiso district last week, the shooter got away on a motorcycle but as he left the scene, he called Nalwoga to inform he that the mission had been accomplished.
Shocking details at SP Irama’s Home
According to Enanga, SSP Godwin Tumugumye of Police CID headquarters in Kibuli on Saturday led a team of senior detectives, among them D/ASP Rashid Nyanzi and D/ASP Hebert Ruimbwa, to conduct a search at SP Irama’s home and co-accused. The search was witnessed by SP Irama, one Peninnah Irama, and Geoffrey Muramagi.
During the search operation, the team of detectives recovered a sub-machine gun (SMG), registration UG Pol 56 5902065 31783, the gun findings of a ballistic analysis showed discharged the bullets whose cartridges scene of crime officers retrieved from the scene of Mukisa’s shooting roughly a fortnight ago.
The rifle was loaded with 30 bullets when detectives picked it up on the weekend, and investigators are working round-the-clock to establish the circumstances under which the gun assigned to the senior police officer ended up committing a crime and taking their life.
The core mandate of police and its personnel under the Constitution is protecting the lives and property of citizens, which is the basis for providing those weapons and other law enforcement capabilities at taxpayers’ cost.
Detectives found high-end rides, some estimated to cost Shs600m, at the residence of SP Irama an asset whose value one investigator said did not match the income of their detained officer.
More Details emerge
There are different accounts, but both related to money deals gone bad, being investigated as likely reasons for Mukisa’s killing.
One clue that investigators are following is that he supplied a Toyota Land Cruiser to SP Irama’s brother Kareodu at Shs700m, but the businessman later discovered the actual price was Shs500m.
“He felt that the deceased had cheated him of Shs200m, and got annoyed,” a source close to the investigations said, asking not to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.
Kareodu reportedly approached his brother SP Irama to punish Mukisa for failing to refund his money, one detective said, quoting an account offered by the detained UPDF deserter accused of pulling the trigger on the deceased.
“The soldier told us that Kareodu introduced him to SP Irama, who provided him with the gun three days before the shooting,” the source said.
Following the incident, security agencies secured data on the telephone calls made at the crime scene before and after the incident.
It was established that the alleged shooter communicated with the wife of the businessman three minutes after Mukisa’s killing, but what they discussed has not been revealed.
“The call data also shows that the person whom the killer called on the phone after the fateful moment, was also with the businessman. The call data put the killer at the crime scene,” said another detective familiar with preliminary findings of the investigations.
Businessman Kareodu, according to police, has denied allegations by the soldier that he contracted him to shoot Mukisa with a gun provided by SP Irama, a former district police commander (DPC) in Entebbe.
A second account is that Mukisa was contracted to clean $400,000 (Shs1.5b) proceed from drug trafficking and he and others were to share $100,000 (Shs370m) in commission.
He reportedly short-changed the unnamed trafficker and other agents, leading to his killing by offended parties.
Police are not yet certain which of the two accounts is more credible.
A senior security source reveals that the Special Forces Command (SFC) had previously adversely named SP Irama when Entebbe DPC, but police leadership for unexplained reasons elected to simply transfer him.
Another police officer said there is a tendency for bosses in the Force to move rogue officers from headquarters to hard-to-reach places as punishment or promote to clothe them against the penalty, instead of prosecuting them in police or criminal courts, leading to rising impunity.
Robert Irama’s run-ins with the law
SP Vincent Irama’s brother, Robert Irama Kareodu, a businessman, has had multiple run-ins with the law.
For example, in 2015, he and two others were convicted in Canada and sentenced to two years in jail after pleading guilty to seven counts including money laundering and fraud in which banks lost more than Shs3b between 2011 and 2012. Some of the money from Uganda, Spain, China, and Switzerland had been wired to Canada.
The businessman also has a drug trafficking case number ENT-00-CR-CO-0374-2022, pending before Entebbe Chief Magistrate’s Court. Aviation Police at Entebbe International Airport arrested Irama and two alleged accomplices in 2022 on allegations of trafficking drugs into the country.
“The businessman is supposed to reappear in court next (this) week,” said a police officer familiar with the case. Late Mukisa was reportedly helping Mr Irama with the case, although his actual brief was not disclosed. Mr Kareodu was previously also convicted of fraud in 1999 and 2001.
According to Enanga, “there is no place for such indiscipline and barbaric behaviour and the actions of the officers are regrettable and not representative of the Police force and UPDF.”
“We are going to ensure justice is served,” he said.
Describing the incident as a murder for hire conspiracy, Enanga noted that the hunt is still on for some remaining culprits whom he said have been identified and being tracked down as murder charges have been lined up against all those involved.
The four suspects are currently detained in four separate facilities.
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