Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine’s driver, Yasin Kawuma could have been shot by opposition politicians to taint government’s image, Uganda Police Force spokesperson Emilian Kayima has said.
Kawuma breathed his last last evening after he was shot while inside Bobi Wine’s Toyota Tundra vehicle near Hotel Pacific in Arua town.
Government officials were quick to blame opposition supporters for sparking off the shooting when they pelted with stones the motorcade of President Yoweri Museveni who was in Arua to campaign for the NRM candidate Nusura Tiperu ahead of Wednesday’s by-election. The seat fell vacant following the shooting of former MP Ibrahim Abiriga in June.
Senior presidential press secretary Don Wanyama, yesterday released images of what he claimed was one of the president’s vehicles with shattered hind windscreens.
As Ugandans continue to debate the authenticity of the Wanyama’s claims on social media with some suggesting it was stage-managed given that the President’s vehicle is supposedly bullet-proof, police now says Kawuma could have been shot by the opposition.
Kayima said after the chaos, Presidential guards picked up several opposition politicians including Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo municipality), Paul Mwiru (Jinja East), Francis Zaake (Mityana), Michael Mabike the former Makindye East MP and Kasiano Wadri, an independent candidate in the Arua municipality parliamentary seat. Bobi Wine was eventually arrested today morning after a 12-hour search.
According to Kayima, some of the arrested politicians were found with firearms, adding that they will subject the bullets from the scene to ballistic analysis to establish which gun released the killer bullets.
“This young man Yasin Kawuma succumbed to a bullet wound, we’re yet to know who, and I will tell you we cannot conclude anything here. Some of those that we arrested had weapons, so we shall need to know. Is it from them [opposition] or from us. Where did it come from and ballistic experts will do that during our investigations,” said Kayima.
Also arrested are 34 other suspects including four journalists who were covering live the events in Arua. The journalists have since been slapped with charges of inciting violence and malicious damage to property and released on police bond.
The other suspects are charged with obstructing and attacking the Presidential motorcade contrary to section 24 of the Penal Code Act, which attracts a life sentence upon conviction. Kayima said the President like other designated diplomats are entitled to right of way and anyone who obstructs them has to face the law.
“When his motorcade is in motion and there’s a siren it speaks to you – all motorists to give way…If you don’t then we investigate the motive. Is just an innocent traffic offence or you have a motive. And, look here; this [alleged attack on President’s motorcade] happened at 4pm, it [shooting] happens at 6.30pm. All of us can think through this, so please don’t shift the blame,” said Kayima.
It’s yet to be established whether the President’s motorcade had a siren at the time of the scuffle. But even then, Kayima’s narrative indeed corroborates several eye-witnesses’ accounts who said that the shooting happened more than 2 hours after the alleged scuffle. Bobi Wine blamed the shooting on police, who he said had targeted kill him instead.
Other witnesses said in what appears to be pre-meditated murder that after seeing off the president who boarded a chopper back to Kampala, presidential guards came back to Hotel Pacific to hunt down for Bobi Wine, accusing him of mobolising the youth who attacked the president. It is then, that Kawuma was shot dead while attempting to park Bobi Wine’s car.
“Bobi’s driver was shot 2km away at Hotel Pacific on Adumi road and 2hrs after the president left whereas the presidential motorcade took Ediofe road. Those are two different issues,” said Dominic Alule.
“If the lead car of the presidential motorcade was shattered on Ediofe road, I, who passed on that route less than 30 minutes after the convoy would have found the pieces of glass on the road but I haven’t seen any even now,” added Alule who was responding on twitter to our earlier story about Kawuma’s shooting.