The former commander of the Police Flying Squad Unit, Herbert Muhangi, who was re-arrested hours after the army court granted him bail on Tuesday, faces fresh charges, including murder and robbery.
Security sources revealed that Muhangi was re-arrested over other security issues under investigation, including criminal offences against him. He had been charged with deportation of Rwandan exiles, a charge he denied.
“There have been public concerns ever since the military court announced that it would hear Muhangi’s bail application on February 19. Many of these are members of the public who volunteered information about his alleged criminal acts and feared that he could interfere with investigations upon his release,” a source revealed.
The re-arrest, sources added, was also prompted by intelligence linking Muhangi to a group of syndicated car robbers who were behind the sale of stolen motor vehicles to the neighbouring DR Congo and South Sudan. One such case involved a Kenyan tour firm, whose proprietors reported a robbery case against Muhangi in 2017 after they lost three vehicles. The case was reported under reference number CRB 1132/17 at the Kampala Central Police Station, but no action was taken against Muhangi “because he was powerful.”
Sources also revealed that security agencies intercepted intelligence information to the fact that Muhangi allegedly had plans to fl ee the country upon his release. But the army publicists (Brig. Richard Karemire and his deputy, Lt. Col. Deo Akiiki) remained tight-lipped on why Muhangi was re-arrested.
Kaweesi Murder Case
Muhangi was also named in the investigations into the murder of former Police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi and this is one of the major cases, which operatives claim he could interfere with once he is released.
“During the latest investigations into Kaweesi murder, Internal Security Organisation (ISO) handed over its report containing their fi ndings to the Police, but the Police offi cers who handled the probe professionally mishandled the whole case. This is why we opted for an external probe by the British Police,” the source revealed.
Late last year, the National Security Council (NSC) endorsed an investigation by the British Police – the Scotland Yard – into the murder, which is about to start. This came at a time when a report by the NCS sub-committee recommended fresh investigations and analysis of an audio voice recording said to belong to former Police chief, Gen. Kale Kayihura, and Muhangi, linking them to the murder.
In the contentious audio, Kayihura was reportedly recorded asking Muhangi whether Kaweesi was really dead, to which Muhangi allegedly responded: “Yes, yes.” Both Kayihura and Muhangi have rubbished the claims. The source added that lie detectors, which were not used by the NSC sub-committee while interfacing with the implicated officers, will also be used in the fresh Scotland Yard investigations.
“There are also some crucial people who were not interrogated by the sub-committee who have been recommended to be interviewed. Among them is Assistant Inspector General of Police Abas Byakagaba, who is said to have been the last person who talked to Kaweesi on phone, and the widow (Harriet) among others,” the source revealed.
Kaweesi was shot dead on March 17, 2017, as he left his home in Kulambiro, a city suburb, to go to work. Kaweesi was murdered together with his bodyguard, Kenneth Erau, and driver, Geoffrey Mambewa, by assailants travelling on motorcycles. Kayihura and Muhangi were last year arrested over a number of cases, although they have only been charged with the arrest and repatriation of Rwandan nationals against their will, and their alleged failure to protect war materials.
Although ISO presented a report pinning the duo together with other army and Police offi cers over Kaweesi’s murder, the NCS sub-committee recommended fresh investigations, saying the report did not have substantial evidence to kickstart their trial.
Other accused officers are Richard Ndaboine, who headed the cybercrime unit, former Professional Standards Unit commandant Joel Aguma, as well as former fl ying squad operatives Abel Kitagenda, Alex Tumukunde and Faisal Katende, among others. Another suspect, Jonathan Baroza, who was Kayihura’s aide, has since fl ed the country.