Kampala, (UG): Tuesday, January 02, 2024, will remain a day to forget for renowned Ugandan pastor and businessman Aloysius Bugingo after unknown gunmen killed his bodyguard and church elder Richard Muhumuza in an assassination attempt targeting him.
The late Muhumuza, a trained UPDF soldier at the rank of Corporal was attached to the Special Forces Command (SFC), a highly-trained army formation whose roles among others include guarding the President, first family and other very important people (VIPs) in the country.
FYI, the SFC was in recent years headed by First Son Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba before he was elevated to the position of Senior Presidential Advisor on Special Operations. The force is currently headed by Brig. Don Nabasa.
Bugingo’s slain bodyguard probably had no idea that one day, he would one day be assigned duties as a close protection officer, guarding such a high-profile religious person.
Muhumuza’s journey to protecting Bugingo
Richard Muhumuza, who died in his late 30s, hailed from Sembabule District, a cattle-keeping district populated by a diverse range of Bantu and Hamite peoples which sits close to the Equator.
Reports indicate that his deployment to become a personal bodyguard to Pastor Aloysius Bugingo, the proprietor and director of Salt TV, Salt FM and House of Prayer Ministries International in Kampala came ten months ago in a ‘surprise reshuffle’ inside the SFC.
Probably given his close association with the President, first family and known active support for the government, Pastor Bugingo found himself being guarded by a Special Forces Corporal.
Muhumuza died on duty
Maj Jimmy Omara, the spokesperson at the Command, speaking on the deceased expressed his condolences for one of their own revealing that at the time of his death, security had picked up intelligence information about increasing threats being made against several high-profile people months ago.
Maj Omara did not mention or reveal information on the high-profile persons being targeted by the alleged threats. He however said the deployments are done casually and reshuffles are made when the need arises.
“Deployments are done based on threat analysis. So, there was a time when many high-profile people in the country were receiving threats to their lives. Pastor Bugingo felt that he should be given security,” the Maj said.
He added; “Getting a security personnel is not done by SFC, it starts from the Chief of Defence Forces and finally to the commander who looks for who to assign to whom.”
Maj Omara explained that the late Muhumuza was armed but the suddenness of Tuesday’s night’s attack left him no chance to fight back.
“When you are on deployment, you go with all your service equipment, we are saddened by his loss and we have launched investigations into the matter to find out what exactly transpired.”
Bugingo death threats
Maj Omara confirmed what the pastor appeared to have been aware of for some time – that his life was in danger. In a video seen on social media, Bugingo during one of his prayer sermons at Canaan Land in Makerere Kikoni is seen and heard saying “there is proof that there are those who wanted to see him dead last year.”
“Me and you, ok me I have proof. There are many who wanted me to die this year (last year) they are surprised that I am still alive. Clap for God, many have even prayed, fasted, they have even invested in money so that I die, some things we can’t say, but we are going through a lot,” the outspoken pastor says in the one-minute video.
Bugingo’s worry and statements came true at approximately 9 pm on Tuesday, January 2 when unidentified assailants opened fire on Pastor Bugingo’s vehicle at Bwalakata Junction on National Housing Raod in Namungoona, Rubaga Division of Kampala.
Bugingo survives shooting
Despite sustaining injuries during the attack, Police said Wednesday that Pastor Bugingo managed to transport the vehicle to Mulago Hospital.
“Regrettably, his bodyguard, Muhumuza Richard, succumbed to the assault and was confirmed dead upon arrival at the hospital,” said Mr Luke Owoyesigyire, the Deputy Spokesperson of KMP.
By press time on Thursday, DailyExpress could not find concrete information regarding the family background, schools, marital status and previous deployments of the late Muhumuza as close relatives kept ‘playing hide and seek’ when asked about such.
Maj Omara said once the postmortem is done on the late Muhumuza, burial arrangements shall kick-off.
“He is still lying in the morgue in Mulago Hospital. Uganda People’s Defence Forces will handle burial preparations.”
But Bugingo while addressing the media on Wednesday said his bodyguard will be laid to rest at his ancestral home in Sembabule District on Friday this week.
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