By Alain Mucyo
Uganda’s government mouthpiece, The New Vision newspaper on Wednesday 8 published an article titled: “Investigation: Kaweesi unsolved murder”, which lists a number of scenarios in trying to establish who ordered the hit on the late Uganda Police spokesperson, Andrew Felix Kaweesi.
An officer that quickly rose through the ranks to the highest echelons of Uganda Police, Kaweesi’s life was cut short at just 43 when he was ambushed by gunmen near his home in Kulambiro, in the outskirts of Kampala, shooting him to death. His driver, and a bodyguard too died.
In its article one of the main theories The New Vision advances is that “a neighbouring country” was behind the assassination, which took place on March 17, 2017. Never mind that in the time since Kaweesi was killed, dozens upon dozens of people have been arrested and numerous other theories voiced about who could have been behind it.
Everyone who consumes Ugandan media knows that any reference to “a neighbouring country” automatically means Rwanda, so there is no doubt which country The New Vision is alluding to.
Similar allegations have previously been made. All are based on nothing, other than the fact the Ugandan regime has been running a propaganda campaign against Kigali. On the other hand, the anti-Rwanda hostility in Kampala means they have turned Kigali into a very convenient scapegoat for all crimes committed in Uganda.
The article notes the arrests of a number of senior Ugandan police officers whom Ugandan intelligence agencies allege as having “worked with a neighboring country” to assassinate Kaweesi – an allegation that New Vision repeats.
However, since the arrests of anyone allegedly connected to the crime, the best intelligence agencies like Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), and Internal Security Organization (ISO) can do is to produce concocted “evidence” that even the military court threw out. Interestingly the murder of Kaweesi does not feature on any charge sheets in court.
Apparently the likes of CMI have been more interested in framing members of their own security organs as “working with Rwanda”, a ploy that has failed at every turn since it is based on a fabrication.
There have been accusations against Ugandan policemen – as well as Rwandans that CMI abducted, such as Rene Rutagungira – that they were “kidnapping refugees on behalf of Rwanda”. That accusation failed because it was a fabrication. The allegedly kidnapped Lt. Joel Mutabazi – a fugitive wanted in Kigali for crimes of terrorism – was handed to Rwanda under a legal framework: the East African Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (EAPCCO) where both countries are obliged to exchange wanted fugitives on either side.
Betraying the motive as an attempt to scapegoat Rwanda, The New Vision brings former Uganda Police IGP, Gen. Kale Kayihura, into the story as a suspect although he (Kayihura) was not charged with the murder of Kaweesi. He was instead charged with failure to protect war materials.” Kayihura’s “accomplices” – the 26 senior police officers – too were not charged.
They all were part of the long-discredited narrative that “Kayihura was working for Rwanda”, which CMI, and people like former security minister Henry Tumukunde, tried to propagate – including trying to extract torture confessions. They failed to get evidence for court because none of that was true.
The Ugandan government mouthpiece makes a show of mentioning other parties with possible motive to murder Kaweesi, but its real target is Rwanda.
The important question the paper fails to ask is: why after three full years is it that nothing substantial has come out of the massively funded investigation into that high-profile killing that took place in broad day light, with a host of witnesses?
Everyone in Ugandan security circles knows this: the assassination was the work of highly equipped marksmen, who had the confidence to execute a senior police officer thathad an armed escort.
According to investigators, the cartridges collected at the scene; and a ballistics analysis of the marks left on Kaweesi’s car point to M4 guns. These are highly sophisticated weapons and are, in Uganda, an exclusive issue of the Special Forces Command (SFC). At the time of Kaweesi’s assassination, SFC was headed by the First Son Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
“It is not, by the stretch of any imagination, the work of ordinary thugs,” security sources in Kampala say. “It is SFC that killed Kaweesi and the fact investigations have turned up nothing is further proof of that.”
Sources contend Gen. Muhoozi – on the orders of none other than his father – not only had Kaweesi killed, he also ordered the execution of MP Ibrahim Abiriga; former DPC for Buyende Mohammed Kirumira; Yasin Kawuma the driver of Bobi Wine – who took bullets meant for his boss – among many others.
Almost all analysis seems to point to one conclusion, which also explains why Kaweesi rose rapidly through the ranks: He was a very capable and gregarious police officer whose personality rendered him to public fame across all sections of Ugandan society.
This, according to sources, made him a natural target for Museveni and his ambition to enthrone his son as his successor.
Kaweesi was increasingly seen as a threat in the same way the effectiveness of officers like General Aronda Nyakairima – and Brigadier General Noble Mayombo before him -put him in Museveni’s crosshairs.