4 Years Later, Security Has No Suspects in MP Abiriga Murder

Murder scene of MP Abiriga. Photo by Watchdog

TODAY has marked four years ever since the Arua Municipality (now Arua City) Member of Parliament Col (rtd) Ibrahim Abiriga was shot dead near his home at Kawanda, Matugga town council, Wakiso district. In these four years, all security agencies have failed to apprehend any suspect connected to his murder.

Abiriga, who was famous for donning yellow attires, the colour for his NRM political party, was killed on June 8th at around 6:30pm by gun wielding men riding on a motorcycle. At the time of his killing, Abiriga was in his famous yellow Volkswagen car with his bodyguard, Pte Kongo Saidi, who also perished in the same brutal ending.

Even though all security echelons including commander in chief President Yoweri Museveni arrived at his murder scene and deployed all sorts of security apparatus to reconstruct it in attempt to extract evidence vital for hunting for the killers, to date no single person has ever been arrested in regard to the legislator’s assassination.

Efforts to seek a comment from police units that participated in the unsuccessful hunt for Abiriga’s killers were fruitless as they all referred Daily Press Uganda (DPU) to the report made early this year by outgone Criminal Investigation Director, Grace Akullo, which she handed over to her successor Maj Tom Magambo.

On February 10, this year, Akullo, listed MP Abiriga’s murder among the cases that have stalled and still under inquiry. “Some of the cases under inquiry are: – Kawempe CRB 599/2018, Murder of Hon. Ibrahim Abiriga and Pte. Kongo Saidi,” reads AIGP Akullo’s report.

Dr Solomon Asiimwe, a security scholar, thinks there is a problem with criminal investigation in the country. Asiimwe argues that it is high time the government invested more than enough resources in building a robust crime intelligence and crime investigations system.

“To prosecute you must have evidence especially on murder. To prosecute a person and convict a person there must be real evidence to that. We need to investigate how the department of criminal investigation is organized, whether they have enough resources, enough cadre personnel who are trained in crime investigation,” Dr Asiimwe said.

Akullo listed among other challenges hampering the effectives of CID as lack of motor vehicles to carry out CID activities like visiting scenes of crime, movements to and from scenes of crime, statement recording, transportation of victims of crimes to the Hospitals for examination, suspects from scenes and other places of arrests, to do for medical examination. 

She added that exhibit stores are limited in most stations which affects the quality of the exhibits which are supposed to be presented in court in the state which they are recovered. “A break in the chain of evidence during prosecution benefits the accused and eventual outcome of the case leading to acquittals,” Akullo added. Akullo added that there is limited space to store bulky exhibits like and motor vehicles. This has led to the rapid deterioration and sometimes even theft of exhibits.

Abiriga will be remember for being one of the champions of article 102 b which capped presidential age between 35 and 75. This means president Yoweri Museveni would have served his last term last year and the country would be having a new president.

The deceased legislator’s participated into age limit removal suffered a setback and was grab by other legislators as he was battling charges of urinating in a public place near the ministry of finance. He was prosecuted and found guilty for being a public nuisance. He was fined Shillings 40,000.

Nevertheless, Abiriga’s murder show Museveni unveil a 10 point security plan that included speedy installation of CCTV cameras, recruitment of LDUs and gun fingerprinting. But other things such as digital registration of motor vehicle and motorcycle number plans, banning of hoods have remained on paper.