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MPs Task DPP To Expedite Investigations Into High-Profile Assassinations

On Thursday last week, Christine Nanding, the Deputy Director of Legal and Human Rights at the Uganda Police Force – UPF gave the Committee a status report of the high-profile cases indicating that they lacked leads prompting courts to quash them
02 Aug 2022 17:29
Police Chiefs attending committee meeting at Parliament recently. Photo by Dominic Ochola

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The Human Rights Committee of Parliament has tasked the Directorate of Public Prosecution – DPP to conclude investigations into high-profile assassinations in the country. The committee members led by their chairperson, the West Budama North East County MP,  Fox Odoi were follow-up the recommendations in the Uganda Human Rights Commission- UHRC report of 2018-2020 .

The UHRC report noted that the assassination of several high-profile Ugandans with some cases dating as far back as 2012 have never been concluded to bring the perpetrators to book. The report also notes that some suspects are on remand while other cases are at a pre-trial stage in the High court.

Some of the high-profile cases include that of Joan Namazzi Kagezi, a Ugandan lawyer and principal state prosecutor who was gunned down in Kiwatule, a Kampala suburb on her way home on March 30th, 2015. Kagezi was prosecuting 15 suspects in connection with the 2010 Ethiopian Village Restaurant bombings linked to Al-Shabaab militants, which claimed more than 70 people.

Ibrahim Abiriga, the former Arua Municipality MP was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle on June 8th, 2018 together with his bodyguard, Saidi Kongo, near his home in Kawanda along the Kampala-Gulu highway. On July 25th, 2012, unknown assassins gunned down Hajj Muhammad Abubaker Kiweewa, a former resident of Kyanja-Kisaasi in Kawempe Division and a leader from the Kibuli Muslim faction. 

On December  28th, 2014, the assassins struck again and killed Mustafa Bahiga, the former Kampala district Amir under the Jamatil Dawatil Salafiya group. The other high-profile murders included that of Maj Mohammed Kiggundu and his bodyguard, Sgt Steven Mukasa on November 26th, 2016 in Masanafu Trading Center in Rubaga Division.

Also, the death of Thomas Terasvouri Juha Peterri a Finish national that occurred on February 6th 2018 at Pearl of Africa Hotel, and Sebastiano Axel, a Swedish National at Sheraton Hotel on February 5th, 2018.  It’s against this background that Odoi wants the DPP to form a team and undertake a conclusive prosecution-led investigation as mandated by the Constitution to bring an end to the pending cases.

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On Thursday last week, Christine Nanding, the Deputy Director Legal and Human Rights at the Uganda Police Force – UPF gave the Committee a status report of the high-profile cases indicating that they lacked leads prompting courts to quash them.

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Nading pointed out that cases such as that of the late Abiriga and Kagezi, have not no suspects and are still open for investigations. Police appealed to the media and the general public to continue cooperating with its officers in providing any necessary information.

John Baptist Asiimwe, the DPP’s Director of Management Support Services revealed that some of the files in the cases have never been re-submitted for consideration after being sent back for investigations.