By Elizabeth K. Wamala
His Excellency, the President, Gen Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. I am writing to you in an earnest hope and wish that this letter finds you well. I say this because of the busy schedules with, most importantly, state matters, and; also, that which are family and personal.
On family and personal matters, my name is Elizabeth Wamala, widow to the late Wilberforce Wamala who was murdered on the 3/02/2012. At your invitation, I met with yourself on this matter at State House on 29th May 2015 and then again on the 1st June 2015 for a total of 4hours.
Your Excellency, it is going to be 5 years since the murder of my late husband, and father of the children. It really breaks my heart five times over to think that: (a) regardless of my efforts, (b) perseverance, (c) passion and (d) resources I have invested into this, (e) the system has not managed to bring anyone to Justice. Even worse heartaches: (a) after your attention, as the court of last resort, was drawn and (b) you put aside all other duties to attend to me, (c) am not any nearer to explaining to the children the outcome; and (d) to reach closure.
The emotional crushes are: (a) even after the inquest into the death of a prime witness to my husband’s murder determined that the prime suspect had been murdered whilst in custody of the police, (b) your Excellency, no one has ever been apprehended and (c) charged.
It is not my wish that this letter is regarded as a formal complaint but, I write to you to highlight the probable pathways to the failures that have led to putting this case into abeyance. I hasten to add that I hope it’s the case of abeyance rather than an unimaginable situation that the State and the Court of Last resort have closed this murder case for unexplainable reasons.
To cut to the chase, it appears that there is a total disconnection between the services that are supposed to deliver justice to those who expect it from the system. To this end, justice is not being delivered or cannot be seen to be delivered.
Mr President, it is an earnest wish to my last breath to get some answers to these questions so that I can explain to the children what happened to their father, the late Wilberforce Wamala.
Update on the sequence:
- Mr President, on the 1st June 2015, we met over the same issue and you asked me to trust you to handle this matter. After the second meeting, which was attended by the DPP and the IGP in your presence, at conclusion, you requested that I returned to London, and that, you would invite me back to Uganda once the investigation was completed. It’s coming to two years now of anxious waiting by my phone, scanning my email and every postal mail for something coming from your office, there has been none.
- After our meeting, the late Wamala’s file was handed over to the former investigating officer Mr William Okalanyi as per our prayer, that of the suspect, the late Hassim Ssali was not. Both the DPP’s and the CID offices are aware that Ssali had always been a subject of interest in the late Wamala’s murder, hence 4 files are connected to the late Wamala’s file and they have always moved together but for yet to be unexplained reason(s) on this one occasion, they split them up. The powers that be behind the stifling of this murder case did not hold on to the file to investigate it as required by the report that derived from the inquest. However, when Mr Okalanyi was ready to return the rest of the files to the DPP’s office, after he completed his investigation, again, for yet to be unexplained reason(s), they called him to join it up with the rest of the files. Ssali’s death stands to conclude the investigation into the death of all three victims, namely, the late Wamala, his house boy, Sadique Mugerwa, and the prime suspect Hassim Ssali
- The inquest into Hassim Ssali’s death who was also a prime witness/suspect into the late Wamala’s murder had been determined by the time the late Wamala’s file was returned to the Public Prosecutor’s Office. Recommendations had been made after it was confirmed that the suspect did not hung himself but he too had been murdered.
- The CID department somewhat did not or have not investigated the late Hassim Ssali’s murder as per magistrate’s report/ recommendations to date. It appears intentional that they did not forward Hassim Ssali’s murder file to the person designated with the role to investigate the late Wamala’s murder. I add here that, the then designated and now former head of the Homicide department Mr William Okalanyi, had informed us on day one, after Wamala’s murder, that if we were ever to find Hassim Ssali, we would have solved the late Wamala’s murder. With hindsight, we did not understand why police failed in their role to find the late Ssali even after numerous reports sent out to them from the DPP’s office recommended that they found him and questioned him about the same. It took a team of good well-wishers ten days to hunt him down and produced him to the relevant/appropriate authorities, only to find him dead two days after he testified on oath incriminating self and others.
- With hindsight, there is a driving force behind, good at derailing but bad at perverting the course of justice in this case. To this end, the powers that be will not stop trying and are willing to take risks even when it has become increasingly clear to them that it is going to be difficult. Well, our resolve too is not to let those who killed our loved one get away with it. The chill down the spine of the conspirators is failure to nail shut this case and/or the nagging Hassim Ssali’s file being sent to the investigation officer with unknown consequences if attached to the late Wamala’s file, complete/ ready to be returned to the DPP’s office.
- (i) Without Ssali’s investigation being complete, there is not enough evidence on the late Wamala’s file for us to proceed to the courts of law. Your Excellency, the powers that be behind this twists and turns is buying time to even derail the court of last resort so as to lose interest.
- (ii) It’s increasingly clear that Hassim Ssali’s death was without any doubt related to late Wamala’s murder, a cover up into Ssali’s death would without any doubt kill off the late Wamala’s murder case
- (iii) William Okalanyi who you agreed should handle the investigation is not going to ask for the late Hassim Ssali’s file unless it is surrendered to him voluntarily. Almost all the evidence in relation to late Wamala’s murder had been removed; hence, refusing to investigate Ssali’s murder kills/blocks our pathways to answers.
- (iv) The Inspector General of Police (IGP) originally supported our beliefs that Hassim Ssali could have been murdered as a cover up towards my late husband’s murder. To this end the IGP was in support when he wrote the first letter to the Makindye magistrate requesting for an inquest to be held into his death.
- (v) The high court too picked interest and offered financial support towards the inquest even though the IGP had offered to foot the bill. But, since the inquest ended in July 2015, concluding that the suspect had not hanged himself but had been murdered in custody of the police, none of all the above-mentioned parties have shown any further interest in finding out who could have been behind this callous murder. Not only have copies of the inquest report with detailed recommendations been sent to them, but reminders from our lawyers regarding the same, followed suit. We have been met with silence ever since.
- (vi) It’s not clear why the Judiciary and the Police lost interest in the murder investigation when it finally appeared that the mist behind the murder had ultimately been lifted especially with some conclusive insight from Sadique Mugerwa, the late Wilberforce Wamala’s houseboy; and the prime suspect cum principle witness Hassim Ssali, about who could have murdered the late Wamala.
- (vii) It has been five long years since Wamala’s demise, and it is now clear like daylight that the DPP can only instruct but cannot force the powers that be to cooperate.
- (viii) Once the inquest concludes that the suspect(s) had been murdered, we expect police to come out with megaphones and guns blazing denying their role at worst and awareness at best, of the murder of the late Wamala, and yet other murders known and unknown related to this case. The powerless like Sadique Mugerwa, myself the widow and the orphans will be silenced.
Sad and sorry about this long-winded bullet pointed issues but I aimed at pointing and uncovering the bullets that have been unwittingly used by the powers that be behind the triggers and are willing to protect themselves by any means necessary. In short, the college of the powers manipulating this murder investigation retain a stranglehold within the security institutions and the justice system hence the contrived failures highlighted above. If I may add, some other gaps in the twists and turns will inevitably emerge, so long as the ancestors will. There lies our hope, if the court of the last resort too fails.
Your Excellency, if I am not clear, I am ready to be present to a panel of experts on this sequence of disconnects that is killing-off this case for unexplainable reasons. Justice delayed is Justice denied, I rest my case.
Whilst I remain grieve-stricken over my loss and overwhelmed about the process as I have witnessed in the last five years, I remain confident and passionate about seeking justice.
This letter is in commemoration of my late husband who on this day, the 3/02/2012 took his last breath. He is dearly missed, may his soul rest in eternal peace.