Details Emerge Over Ntoroko Shooting

2464 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
A security source at the Rwenzori region police department says that on Friday security officers received information about people who wanted to buy guns. It was then decided to that DPC Gerald Atuhairwe, DISO Brian Babishanga and Lt Col. Richard Muhangi carry out an operation and lay a trap to arrest the buyers. The source says that the officers pretended to be dealers, dressed in plain clothes and used the personal vehicle of Atuhairwe to transport the 10 guns that were supposed to be sold.

Details have emerged following the arrest of two top security officers in Ntoroko district.

On Sunday Gerald Atuhairwe, the Ntoroko district Police Commander and Brian Babishanga, the District Internal Security Officer were arrested for allegedly killing two civilians Erasmus Irumba and Richard Kanyoro Siet on allegations of illegal trading in firearms. 

Lt. Col Richard Muhangi, the commander 3rd Mountain Battalion based in Ntoroko district was shot in the leg under unclear circumstances. 

Uganda Radio Network reporter spoke to some security officers privy to the investigations who gave details on exactly what happened.  

A security source at the Rwenzori region police department says that on Friday security officers received information about people who wanted to buy guns. 

It was then decided to that Atuhairwe, Babishanga and Muhangi carry out an operation and lay a trap to arrest the buyers. The source says that the officers pretended to be dealers, dressed in plain clothes and used the personal vehicle of Atuhairwe to transport the 10 guns that were supposed to be 'sold'.

When they reached Butungama, they met Irumba and Kanyoro who were carrying Shillings 20 Million in a polythene bag ready to buy the guns. The source says that as they were still negotiating, a scuffle broke out after the DPC wanted to grab money from the suspects before giving them the guns. 

During the scuffle, one of the body guards accidentally shot Lt.Col Muhangi on the leg. Irumba and Kanyoro were then arrested, put inside the vehicle and taken to Kibuku, where they were shot dead.

However, another security source says that there are allegations that the three security officers were selling the guns and the two men were killed to conceal any evidence. The source wonders why top security officers and not junior officers were involved in an operation to arrest illegal gun buyers. 

When asked about the allegations, Lydia Tumushabe, the Rwenzori Region Police Spokesperson could neither deny nor confirm them. She says that police is still carrying out investigations over the incident.  

This morning detectives from the Criminal Investigations Department headquarters in Kampala visited Fort Portal Police Station and recorded statements from Atuhairwe and Babishanga.

Three other security officers involved in the shooting are also under detention. They include Luke Dhadalamu, the escort to the DPC, Ivan Bakasaba and Saul Irama Balimpa, both escorts to Lt. Col Muhangi.

In a press release by Brigadier Richard Karemeire, the UPDF Spokesperson, Lt. Col Muhangi is currently under detention in an undisclosed location. 

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.