Nantaba saga : Police officer quizzed over death of assailant

Children of the late Ronald Sebulime (inset) mourning their father on Sunday at

The commanding officer of the 999 Police patrol that foiled the attempted assassination of information and communications technology state minister, Idah Eriosi Nantaba, was yesterday tasked with recounting the chase and subsequent shooting to dead of the alleged suspect.

Security sources said the commander, whose identity remains concealed for fear of jeopardizing the investigations, was questioned for the second day running. However, details of his statement were not yet established. On Monday, Police spokesperson Fred Enanga revealed that the officer had been summoned to explain what transpired.

On Sunday, Police officers gunned down one of the two men who allegedly trailed Nantaba for several hours as she traveled from her home in Kayunga to Kampala. The suspect was later identified as Ronald Ssebulime, a resident of Nakabugo in Wakiso district.

Nantaba was in the company of her bodyguard, identified as Tugume, attached to the Special Forces Command (SFC). According to residents of Nagojje, Ssebulime was first hand-cuffed before being executed extra-judicially.

Residents say one of the Police officers received a telephone call and after the call, the hand-cuffed Ssebulime was allegedly taken off from the Police patrol vehicle, put aside and ‘shot in cold blood.’

Nantaba, in a statement sent to the media yesterday, also questioned who ordered the shooting of the suspect after his arrest.

“On whose orders was this man shot dead?” Nantaba asked.

However, in the statement, Nantaba said she was barred from the ‘chase’ of the suspect and was asked to go to the Police station for fear that she could be led into an ambush during the chase by the suspected assailants.

She said she was later informed by the officer in charge of Naggalama Police Station about the arrest of one of the suspects. According to Nantaba, she asked her bodyguard to go to the scene and confirm the OC’s report, “they found the suspect dead.” In her narrative, Nantaba said besides the man on the sports bike, there were also two other people riding on a bodaboda, whose conduct was suspicious.

“We made a stop right before Sezibwa bridge when a bodaboda carrying two men, riding towards the bridge, first by-passed us and the men waved at me. Three minutes later, they came back and stopped right next to us. The men jumped off and greeted me, then one of them asked me to visit Buyobe village.

They again took the direction of Kayunga.” Nantaba says they met the men again as they were approaching Kabimbiri. Nantaba revealed that along the way to Naggalama from Ssinda, she told her bodyguard Tugume to shoot at the suspected assassin on the sports bike, but the escort declined to do so.

“I asked my bodyguard to shoot him or his bike tires, but he replied that ‘let’s wait to see whether he stops at Kabimbiri’. To our surprise, the man just continued past Kabimbiri and that’s when Tugume advised that we follow him to Naggalama.

He then called his SFC counterparts to contact Naggalama Police Station to mount a roadblock,” Nantaba explained.

She said it was the OC at Naggalama Police Station who later informed her that the suspected assassins on the sports bike were two.

Nakazibwe being comforted by a neighbour at Ssebulime’s home in Nakabugo, Bbira in Wakiso district yesterday.

“The fact is, they attempted to finish us from a roadside market, where I usually stop to buy groceries and if God had not helped me to see the assassin fast enough before he got close to us, we would have been murdered,” she said.

Residents of Nagojje said as the two men on the bike were being chased by the Police patrol, they hit a hump and tumbled onto the road. Upon seeing the Police patrol approach, the men led went into hiding.

Sources reveal that Police embarked on a hunt for the men and managed to capture Ssebulime, who was subsequently handcuffed and put on the Police patrol vehicle. It is suspected that the second suspect disguised himself and led.

According to Enanga, investigations into the matter are being led by the Kampala Metropolitan Police East criminal investigations boss, Bernard Muhumuza. The Police also filled forms and submitted them to Uganda Revenue Authority to identify owner of the motorcycle

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Patrick Luwagga is the editorial director of cross-platform content for UGANDANZ. He works across the newsroom and with business partners to drive and develop ambitious editorial projects that include digital journalism, video, data research, polling, live events, and thought-leadership series that are supported by outside underwriting. As executive director, he is responsible for the creation of Political news section, prior to joining UGANDANZ, Patrick was the chief editor for the national weekly news magazine of Kasese Times. In that role, he covered several presidential elections, wrote and produced two television documentaries, and was a regular commentator on television and radio news programs. Patrick was born in Masaka and grew up in Kasese. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Makerere University where he was a Knight Foundation journalism fellow.