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Katerega's Family Denies His Alleged Rebel, Terror Links

To Ngujja, Katerega was a Muslim cleric who has been devoted to serving his religion, adding that he has been donating Islamic materials to mosques and leading prayers at home and in Kampala where he was an imam in one of the mosques.

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Relatives of Abdu Katerega have dismissed claims by government that he was involved in rebel and terror activities.  Katerega died on Friday night while being rushed to Mulago National Referral Hospital after being shot in a raid by the Joint Anti-Terrorism Taskforce-JATT on a suspected terror cell in Namungona, a Kampala city suburb.

Katerega was shot as he tried to flee from the officers who raided him home in Namungona Zone 1. His body was laid to rest at his ancestral home in Namanyonyi Sub County in Mbale district on Sunday. Nine other suspects were picked up and are being held by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI).

On Monday morning, President, Yoweri Museveni posted a brief statement on his official Facebook page, saying the suspects were involved in the assassination of the former Buyende District Police Commander, Muhammad Kirumira who was gunned down last month.

Museveni also said Katerega got what he deserved and all other killers should be put on notice. "It turns out that Kateregga was one of the ADF terrorists that had benefited from Amnesty in the past. This, therefore, is to put on notice all the killers that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23)," reads the statement in part.

Katerega's relatives say they were surprised to read in the papers that their son was killed because of his alleged links to the rebel Allied Democratic Forces-ADF. “I am surprised by what am seeing in Bukedde of today, my uncle never held even a gun. He has been such a kind person that even you would never accept those allegations leveled against him,” one of his niece told URN in Namanyonyi on condition of anonymity.

His sister said, “Actually we want government to come up and take responsibility of our brother's family, they should also release the wife from the army barracks because she is not a soldier.” Born in 1975, Katerega hails from Namanyonyi Sub County in Mbale district from the Ngujja family. 

His father Alhaji Musa Ngujja says his son has been a humble and a practicing Muslim who loves people. He says he has never seen or heard about his child being connected to any rebel group but hastened to add that Katerega didn't grow up in his hands. 

According to Ngujja, Katerega was arrested in the early 1990s but doesn't know the reasons for his arrest.

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Mzee Ngujja also explained that he doesn't know how his son got the name Katerega Abdul. “I don't have a child in those names; my son was called Aramanzan Ngujja so I don't know where people got that name,” Ngujja explained.

Farouk Ngujja, a young brother to Katerega, says before his brother was killed, security operatives were seen rounding the village before they heard bullets later.

According to Farouk Ngujja, he asked the village chairperson on what had happened and he told him that the security operatives approached him, saying they had come to make some arrests on the village little did he know they wanted Katerega.

He says the operatives searched Katerega's rentals and didn't recover anything, adding that one of the officers signaled to his colleagues to leave. Farouk Ngujja remembers his brother for his generosity and good heart, saying they were very close. 

//Cue in: “Mbadde sirina…

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To Ngujja, Katerega was a Muslim cleric who has been devoted to serving his religion, adding that he has been donating Islamic materials to mosques and leading prayers at home and in Kampala where he was an imam in one of the mosques.

Salim Sokoyito, a former Chairperson, says Katerega was once arrested with his brothers only identified as Yasina and Latif but he doesn't know how he came out of jail.

He says that since then he has never seen the two brothers and five others people who were picked from the sub county. Sokoyito says that trouble for the Ngujja family started way back in 2001 when the tabliq and Salaf sects manifested in the sub county.

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A resident, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, says Katerega was once involved in rebel activities but had quit after being released from jail and granted amnesty.

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