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Museveni demands answers after Indian money lender shot dead by policeman

President Museveni on Saturday demanded answers from security forces, a day after an Indian money lender was coldly shot dead by a policeman in the latest case of alarming gun violence in Uganda.

CCTV video footage obtained by police clearly showed runaway suspect PC Ivan Wabwire opening fire at Uttam Bhandari in a horrific office shooting inside Rajja Chambers along Parliament Avenue in Kampala. The shooter then swiftly moved to the Central Police Station (CPS) and surrendered the killer gun before he vanished.

Detectives who visited the gunfire scene in the aftermath of the shooting recovered 13 cartridges on May 12, according to police.

On Saturday, police also said Wabwire, who allegedly shot TFS Financial Services director Bhandari over a Shs2.1m debt management plan, had medical conditions lasting over six years that required him not to be armed.

“Due to the suspect’s medical conditions, police management at CPS Kampala had decided about six years ago not to arm the suspect with a gun and they have been deploying him in beats that don’t require him to be armed. His current deployment was at the CCTV monitoring center,” Kampala metropolitan police spokesperson Patrick Onyango said in a statement.

Onyango indicates that due to limited accommodation, Wabwire was sharing a house with fellow police officer PC Steven Mulambo who has been detained at Kireka Police Station.

“On May 12, Wabwire’s housemate worked at night and didn’t return the gun to the armoury. Instead, he (Mulambo) went with it to their house and shortly, he got a call that his child was sick. He rushed to go and check on the child, leaving the gun behind,” police explained.

Wabwire took that advantage, got the gun and misused it by shooting Bhandari, per police accounts.

But Museveni wondered why the police leadership “had not acted appropriately”, owing to Wabwire’s mental state” as he also questioned “how an off-duty policeman accessed a gun.”
“How are guns stored in the police? Did he (Wabwire) walk away from his guard post without permission with a gun to commit crime? Is there no security at the site where the victim (Bandhari) was? Why did the local security allow an armed person who had no guard business into the building?” Museveni who is the commander in chief of Uganda’s armed forces queried on Twitter.
According to him, answers to his questions “may help to plug the gaps in the security system.”

‘Guns to solve problems’

Police have condemned continuous “using of guns to solve problems” with the Thursday murder happening barely two weeks after bodyguard Pte Wilson Sabiiti rained at least 28 gunshots on his boss, Rtd Col Charles Engola, who was a minister.

During the same week, outspoken vlogger Ibrahim Tusubira alias Jjaja Iculi- was brutally gunned down with multiple pistol gunshots by yet to be identified assailants near his residence in Kampala.
Late Thursday, the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) Maj Gen Geoffrey Tumusiime Katsigazi assured the Indian Community in Uganda of the Force’s readiness to protect all business communities.
“The authorities are actively working to apprehend and prosecute the suspect,” DIGP Katsigazi noted following a meeting with top leaders of the Indian Community.

A day later, police have confirmed setting up a team to track Bandhari’s killer.

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