Police are investigating the ownership of the sports motorbike that the late Ronald Ssebulime, who was gunned down in Nagojje, Mukono district, was riding. Ssebulime, 42, was executed on March 24, after Police 999 crew arrested him on suspicion that he was trailing and posed a threat to the information and communications technology (ICT) state minister, Idah Nantaba on the Kayunga Mukono road.
Nantaba complained to the Naggalama Police and the Police Patrol team was dispatched to chase Ssebulime. On arresting him at Nagojje, which is about 21km from Naggalama, Police handcuffed him before shooting him at close range. Ssebulime’s family say he was heading to Kabimbiri to visit his daughters at school. From Kabimbiri to Naggalama it is about 18km.
This means Ssebulime was close to 40km away from Kabimbiri when he was gunned down. In another twist to the saga, Police spokesperson Fred Enanga revealed that the number plate on the sports bike, Suzuki registration number UDL 822A, which Ssebulime was riding, actually belonged to a Yamaha motorcycle. Another question now is why the number plate on the bike was changed.
Enanga said Police investigators have already contacted Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to get the details of the Suzuki motorcycle and the owner of the number plate UDL 822A.
“The motorcycle is still an exhibit. Our team is working with URA to find out the chassis number of the Suzuki. That will also help us to know its real number plate and who the true owner is,” he noted
Enanga was addressing journalists at the Police’s weekly press briefing at the Police headquarters in Naguru, Kampala.
“We are also tracing for the owner of the number plate. We want to know under what circumstances this Yamaha number plate ended up on the Suzuki motorcycle. That is why we still have that motorcycle as an exhibit,”
On the second person who was allegedly travelling with Ssebulime, Police say they got an account from one of the witnesses, indicating that there was a stranger travelling with him (Ssebulime) towards Lugazi direction.
“Somewhere in between where the incident happened, a stranger was heard saying; ‘I did not know you are being chased by Police; why are you putting me in these problems?’. He was heard advising Ssebulime to stop and listen to what the Police were saying. This was an account from one of the witnesses,” .
There have been media reports, quoting security agencies, saying the bike Ssebulime was riding is linked to one, Isaac Sseremba, who allegedly is wanted for various crimes. However, Enanga said they had no knowledge of Sseremba.
Enanga revealed that the Police had written to the internal affairs minister, Obiga Kania, seeking guidance on how to get a statement from Nantaba after she declined to honour Police summons to record a statement.In her letter to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Nantaba said:
“I am unable to report in person, having been directed by His Excellency, the President to (remain at home), until he instructs otherwise”.Nantaba
Nantaba instead told the Police to go to and take her statement from where she was, presumably at her home.
“Now we are waiting for the minister’s advice. Whatever the minister guides us on; we shall take that route. As of now, this puts Nantaba’s file on halt as a complainant,” he noted.Enanga
Enanga explained that they were always reluctant to record statements from people from their homes.
“It gives them a comfort zone because it can affect the recording and we might fail to get thorough statements as many things keep arising such as receiving phone calls,”
Enanga said three of the officers who were on the Patrol Pickup, including David Ssali, the commander who allegedly shot Ssebulime, Ronald Opira and Geoffrey Bagonza have already been taken for medical checkup to ascertain their mental status.
“They have been checked and results show they are all normal,”
He said the Police was still hunting for the fourth Policeman Robert Cherotich who was in hiding. Enanga said three guns belonging to the officers had been taken to the ballistic expert to ascertain which one fired the bullets. He also revealed that they have already received the phone printouts from MTN Telecom Company and still waiting for printouts from Airtel to establish who Ssali (officer) talked to and persons that the late Ssebulime had contact with.
“The file will be handed over to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) this week with or without Nantaba’s statement. During the reconstruction of scene, we got detailed statements and it will be determined by the DPP if what we have is sufficient to sustain a murder case,” he said.
Enanga added that the suspects would be taken to a civil court as the Police disciplinary court has no powers to handle such cases. Efforts to get comments from Kania were unsuccessful. He sent message saying;
“Sorry I can’t talk now”