Opinion: “You got them? Okay, that’s good, call the press.” These are common words in the ears of many senior detectives, from their topmost boss. Some, especially experienced ones, ignore the advice until they get to the bottom of investigations and properly marry findings with believable motive.
This drives me seven years down the memory line when Kasubi tombs were burnt to ashes in March 2010. At his then Parliament Avenue-premised office, I sat with Maj. Gen, now Gen. Kale Kayihura, exchanging ideas on the historical arson at the tourists’ attraction site – the Royal Tombs… Then entered the Commissioner Homicide with ‘good’ news…
After salutations, the Commissioner announced that a certain man had emerged and claimed responsibility of torching the tombs. In just seconds, Gen. Kayihura rose from his chair, plucked his Military jacket off the rack and, as he pulled it on, he said; “let’s go. Tell Nabakooba [Judith, the then Police Spokesperson] to call the press.”
“Excuse me Gen,” I started. “You should be the last person to appear with that man in public. This is a sensitive matter you ought to handle carefully. What if the man is mad or…planted! Let the Commissioner take him, reconstruct the scene and brief you. Then you will have a fallback position just in case.” He concurred, silently sat back and waved his officer off. I’m tempted to think it could be the last case ever, he has kowtowed to advice.
It is through such approach of rushing to ‘account’ to the public that cases meet their eternal demise. The man later proved to be a seasoned lunatic and to date, the real culprits are yet to be named. Real suspects are identified in silence, and by seasoned detectives. Now, today’s detectives are the best students of their boss’ approach and hence the rampant crimes.
“People fear to give information to police and they instead come to me,” President Museveni noted on March 19th 2017 at the fallen AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi’s vigil in Kulambiro. He rightly observed that police reveal their sources, hence exposing them to the wrong elements they have patriotically handed in for reprimand.
On Monday, a young mother of two, Maria Nabilanda was found strangled dead and dumped at Nyanama, Lubaga Division in Kampala. Investigations have so far led to the arrest of her husband, Charles Kato, 27, who has reportedly confessed to the capital offence. Police cites a Matugga located land wrangle between the couple which led to the fatal quarrel.
The investigations also reveal two yet unidentified Boda-bodas the couple used from the guest house in Namasuba to where Maria had escaped from her husband. Minutes into his arrest, Kato’s photos were released. This means all his accomplices are aware and must have ran deep at large. It will also be God’s intervention to have the boda-boda riders identified.
As if that is not a glitch enough; hear what police released to the media… “Fortunately, being patriotic and with love for crime prevention, he [the traditional healer] contacted police.” Then went a story in one of the Dailies thus; “He [the suspect] has been arrested in a shrine where he had gone for cleansing,” Mr. Mwesigwa said. It is alleged that the traditional healer tipped police officers who arrested the suspect.”
Where does this leave the traditional healer’s life at the hands of Kato’s relatives and friends? Which other traditional healer will dare help police with similar information? These and several other conundrums surround this case. Its reason we see many suspects paraded before Court of Public Opinion and Temples of Justice, with not a single conviction, thanks to such glitches.
When he camped in Nansana at the climax of female murders in Wakiso District, Gen. Kayihura introduced prostitutes and seasoned criminals to the public, announcing they were the new recruits to help him fight the fatal crimes. He showered them with money and left them amidst the very people they are meant to spy on…!