KAMPALA, Uganda: Today last week (Friday 17th March) at Kulambiro, a Kampala suburb, heartless creatures penned a full stop to the energetic, pragmatic senior Police Officer and my neighbor, AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi’s life. On Tuesday this week, he was laid to rest back home of Kitwekyanjovu in Lwengo District. RIEP.
At his burial and the days preceding it, great people from all walks of life came together as a family to celebrate the life of a celebrated officer. Sheiks, Catholic Bishops, Anglican Bishops and clergy came together to pray for Kaweesi’s peaceful landing before his creator. To sum it up all, the Late Kaweesi’s sendoff was highly of great honour and prestigious.
However, had he lived a little bit longer, in my opinion of course, he would probably have lost such overwhelming respect from all-over Uganda and the EA region. And indeed, upon his demise, many of the esteemed Ugandans mentioned above could have feared to associate with him and or his casket. Reason? Read on…
That President Museveni on Thursday summoned Gen. Kale Kayihura, DPP Michael Chibita, the infamous Wamala murder case Investigating Officer (I.O) William Okalanyi, the Scene of Crime Officer (SOCO) and a few lower detective officers that managed the initial investigations in the February 3rd 2012 callous murder, is an old story.
That the fallen officer was repeatedly accused of involvement and or sabotaging of the same case, is among the oldest stories, especially to the Investigator ardent readers. What then is the story? One would wonder. Well, the story is that the Late Andrew Felix Kaweesi had grown ripe and mature for prosecution and possible imprisonment.
In the Thursday meeting the reportedly acrimonious President Museveni had wondered why on earth, Police and Public Prosecution department had ‘failed’ to conclude the case yet with glaring evidence pointing at who could have murdered the businessman, Wilberforce Wamala, his Shamba-boy Sadique Mugerwa and later in 2013, the prime suspect/witness, Hassim Ssali at Mutungo and Bukasa police cells respectively.
Whereas the main case of Wamala and Sadique had ‘successfully’ been mismanaged, the revelation by Makindye Chief Magistrate’s Court that Hassim Ssali had been murdered and didn’t commit suicide in detention cells as earlier claimed by police, turned everything back onto the investigation road. Whoever had killed Ssali had a hand in Wamala’s murder. Period.
And among the people mentioned in the Ssali murder, the Late Kaweesi is on top of the list. The allegations that he was involved are not merely narrated to detectives. They are lined in two extra-judicial statements on the file. One was sworn by an eyewitness at Bukasa police post and the other was penned by a police officer who was planted at the station to own and defend the fatal incident.
This was a story that had been scheduled to be uploaded in these lines on Friday but was ‘killed’ by Kaweesi’s untimely demise on the same day… “I saw Kaweesi and others entering the cells with three cans of chloroform…” reads in part, the extrajudicial statement that was recorded both on paper and video by Makindye Chief Magistrate Richard Mafabi on July 13th 2016. Mafabi later died mysteriously after a brief headache.
The attempted ‘murder’ of the murder case files
In November last year after completing their perusal, the Director of Public Prosecution’s office returned the late Wamala case files to the police. The covering letter and report were addressed to the Investigating Officer CP William Okalanyi. About two to three weeks ago, the family learnt that the files had been removed from the Investigating officer by Erasmus Turyahuka.
Turyahuka heads the police legal department. On contacting him, he alleged that the files had been sent to him by mistake. “I didn’t have anything to do with the files and I don’t know why they were sent to me, so I sent them back to the CIID headquarters.” This however, was a very strange statement coming from a person who studied law.
To this end, the Wamala family had been following the files and they were aware that they had been addressed to the Investigating Officer, not Turyahuka. Why was he denying is anyone’s wonder. It is known that Okalanyi and Turyahuka work in the same office. Given the benefit of the doubt, if Turyahuka was correct, he would still have provided the family with the correct information about the status of the file. He had clear knowledge on who was tasked with handling the case. However, that was far from the case.
On getting knowledge that the family had this information, he changed his statement. When he was visited by a family delegate, this time he gave a contradictory statement that the files were with the IGP. He added that the IGP was to hold a meeting regarding the same. Surprisingly On the 13th of March another contradiction was that the family delegate found out that files were in Kibuli CID HQ on M/s Grace Akullo’s desk.
On attaining that information, on the 7th of March 2017 the widow, communicated with IGP via text informing him of the above discrepancies, she requested that the files be returned to the I.O to complete the case. The IGP never responded.
Originally, after the meeting with the President, the DPP, IGP and the CIID Director were charged with following up the process to finality. Hence the President’s statement to the widow thus; “return to London and I will call you once the investigations are complete.” That was in May 2015.
The report from the DPP is understood to have been explicit on the extrajudicial statements that incriminated the fallen Kaweesi in Hassim Ssali’s murder in Bukasa police cells. At the inquest, the coroner, had also explored and concluded that the suspect had been murdered and not hanged as the police pathologists alleged in the post mortem report.
The police did not appeal against the coroner’s findings but instead put the file in abeyance. Neither did they pass it onto the Investigating Officer as requested by the DPP. However, when it was time for the files to be returned to the DPP’s office they rejoined them.
With two extrajudicial statements one from a police officer incriminating police in Ssali’s murder, both the coroner’s and the DPP’s reports clearly gave guidance and pointers to the direction of where the investigation was heading. To the family, the investigation was home and dry. However, the turn of events since, the least it is disappointing and worst, very hurting to them.
I didn’t know the late Wamala but I was touched by the senseless way his life was taken. He could have been my brother or anyone’s brother. Hearing and observing every effort the widow has made to get justice and the road blocks and all forms of barriers that were laid in her way, I got drunk on helping her seek justice. It is therefore, not surprising that they have instead decided to line me up among the suspects!
I think it is in the interest of those who do not want the Late Wamala’s case resolved to shock the country with the murder of Andrew Felix Kaweesi. I also think the next stage is to find someone or people to blame for his death.
The Thursday Meeting
On the 7th of March 2017, the widow was in communication with the President’s PPS seeking for an appointment. She wanted to follow up on the reminder she had forwarded the big man. The PPS reassured that the First Citizen had received her letter and would respond.
Indeed on Thursday, which now turns out to be Kaweesi’s demise eve, the President made well on his promise by summoning the above mentioned team. The President was not only bitter but further lamented the criminal infiltration in police. He was to reiterate the same at Kaweesi’s vigil two days later. The tough talking Museveni gave Kayihura and DPP only one week to have the accused aligned before justice.
Kaweesi did not live to face this. On Friday, Gen. Kayihura, who looked every inch disturbed by the Thursday meeting, summoned the I.O and the other detectives he went with but this time, he also invited on board, some of the suspects in police uniform! Hardly had he gone through the introduction of the agenda, a call came in and, the caller was informing him of the sudden death of his blue-eyed boy, the Assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Felix Kaweesi vide assassination means.
For the last five years, the late Wamala’s family have sought after justice through the law and their persistence along with their pain fueling their zeal, led them to gain President Museveni’s attention on the matter, and are still waiting.
The late Wamala’s widow Elizabeth has been publicly open about the case and its developments. To me the most emotive issue about this death as I came to understand it, is how to explain to the children what happened to their father. As a father, I understand these sentiments because I lost my wife. I rest my case. Sleep Well Felix