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TOP STORY: How flopped mercury deal got former MP Robert Musoke arrested over murder

Robert Musoke (Pictured) represented Budiope West in Buyende between 2016 to 2021 (Photo/Courtesy)

Buyende, (UG): Life after Parliament can be difficult but the path of crime, including robbery and murder, is one that you don’t anticipate a former Member of Parliament (MP) to take. 

Unfortunately, this seems to be the route Robert Musoke, the former MP for Budiope West (NRM) in the 10th Parliament has chosen to take. Budiope West constituency is located in Buyende district, in the eastern Busoga sub-region. 

Musoke is currently out of jail on court bail after he was accused of participating in a fatal robbery incident that was recorded in Busikwe village, Gumpi sub-county in Buyende district.

Flopped fatal mercury robbery

On the morning of August 7 2023, residents of Busikwe woke up to the news of a robbery-gone-bad that had happened the previous night at the home of 70-year-old Mzeeyi Bamwegobye Mutwaire. 

According to police records, the assailants who were allegedly facilitated by Hon Musoke, attacked Bamwegobye with the intention of intoxicating him with chloroform so that they could steal a German stove which they believed had mercury of high commercial value.

The unfortunate incident left two people who led the assailants in the mission killed by a mob. These were; Fredrick Ngobi, the director of Citizens of Hope Primary School in Buwenge, Jinja, and Ibrahim Nsuguba, a boda boda rider in Kamuli town.

The former Budiope West MP Robert Musoke who is accused of being the mastermind behind the flopped mercury deal

Preliminary findings indicate that Ngobi and Nsubuga allegedly hired gunmen (soldiers) from the Fisheries Protection Unit to help them execute the mission to finesse. On the fateful day, the duo, together with the hired gunmen stormed Bamwegobye’s house and asked him to surrender all the mercury in his possession.  

The elderly Bamwegobye tricked them that he had to bring the mercury from underneath his bed and upon entering his bedroom, he called his friends who rushed to his home in time. A charged mob gathered to help and protect the senior member of their community.

When the gunmen saw the mob, they fired a shot in the darkened air, before fleeing in a vehicle leaving behind Ngobi and Nsubuga who were stoned and beaten to death. 

Police investigate 

The Police in Buyende District upon learning of the incident immediately commenced investigations into the matter, and according to Mr Michael Kasadha, the Busoga North Regional Police Spokesperson, exhibits of evidential value, including a bullet shell, were recovered from the scene of the crime.

A few days later, five suspects were arrested in connection to the unfortunate incident. These included Evulantine Muyige, Siragi Mwase, Swaibu Mwige, Ali Mwase and Karim Mwase – all residents of Busikwe in Buyende.  

Mr Kasadha told this publication that detectives discovered that Vincent Sempa, the director of Kamuli’s Grade Secondary School also played a role in the alleged robbery and police immediately started hunting for him.

Ssempa and Ngobi had been friends and on the fateful day, and it is alleged that the former picked the latter from his home in Buwenge and took him to an unknown destination.

“Unfortunately, their whereabouts took a dark turn leading to the death of Ngobi and the boda boda rider,” Mr Kasadha said.

Busoga North Regional Police Spokesperson, Mr Michael Kasadha (Photo/File)

Musoke’s embarrassing arrest

Almost a month after the unfortunate incident in Gumpi, news circulated on September 2 2023 indicating that the former MP for Budiope West, Robert Musoke had been arrested for allegedly organizing and participating in the mercury robbery.

He was arrested at Iringa Trading Center in Buyende district according to reports.

However, contrary to rumours circulating in the community, apart from Musoke being friends with Ssempa, police have obtained further information and evidence incriminating the languishing former legislator in other dubious deals. 

Another suspect, Tiya Ndimulodi, was also arrested in connection with the same murder and robbery. Ndimulodi, an army officer attached to the Fisheries Protection Unit is alleged to have connected Musoke to this heinous crime, and hence police picked him up like a chicken thief to aid in the ongoing investigations.

Musoke was later released on court bail on Tuesday 5 September by the Magistrate of Buyende as investigations into the capital charges proceed. He is expected back in court on Tuesday, October 3 2023 for further mention and to know his fate in the case.

Fact Check

A police statement released on Monday, September 18, indicated that a former MP Aspirant for Buyende West had been arrested over an attempted robbery in a mercury deal gone bad.

Police Spokesperson SCP Fred Enanga in his statement identified the former MP Aspirant as Ssempa Vincent and his driver Isaac Musoke Robert, however, based on information in the story above, there were contradicting reports from the police boss’s statement.

However, after gathering feedback from readers, DailyExpress reached out to Busoga North Police Spokesperson Mr Michael Kasadha who acknowledged the mismatching information in the police statement and said the case dates back to August with the suspects already out on bail as investigations continue.

“This is an old case that happened sometime back. The suspects appeared before the court and were released on bail,” Mr Kasadha told DailyExpress in a telephone conversation.

“We shall update you on any new developments regarding the case as they come,” he added.

DailyExpress has further established on factual grounds that Sempa Vincent is a school owner in Kamuli (Grade Secondary School) and has never contested for a parliamentary seat as Enanga initially stated.

On the other hand, Robert Musoke, another accomplice whom the police boss indicated as Sempa’s driver is the former MP for Budiope West in Buyende (not Buyende West) having represented the constituency in the 10th parliament (2016-2021).

Musoke unsuccessfully contested and lost the seat to NRM’s Kyoto Ibrahim in the 2021 general elections

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