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We Want 500,000 Dollars: Unknown Gunmen Kidnap American Tourist And Senior Guide at Queen Elizabeth National Park

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An American tourist and a senior guide were kidnapped while on an evening game drive in Queen Elizabeth national park police says.

The kidnappers used the victims’ phone and demanded for 500, 000 USD ransom. The American embassy in Kampala has been informed about their missing person and the Ugandan as well and of the efforts put in, in looking for them.

According to police “an elite squad from the tourism police, to reinforce the security teams at Queen Elizabeth national park, and actively pursue, a group of 04 unknown gunmen who allegedly kidnapped an American and a Uganda senior guide who were on an evening game drive. This incident occurred yesterday, Tuesday 2nd April, 2019, along the Edward track, a section located between Katoke gate and wilderness camp in the park between 6-7pm.

The unknown gunmen put the tourist on gun point, and grabbed two out of four tourists, before disappearing with them. The victims include Kimbley Sue Endecott, female of 35 years and Jean Paul. The remaining tourists, an elderly couple of Martin Julius and his wife Barbel contacted the camp manager, who rescued them and they are very safe.

The American embassy in Kampala has been informed about its missing citizen and the efforts directed towards his safe recovery and that of our tour guide. The kidnappers, using the victims’ phone have demanded 500,000 USD. We strongly believe this ransom is the reason behind the kidnap. the tourists were travelling in motor vehicle was left parked and the kidnappers went away with the key.”

Police adds, “We want to inform the public and all visitors in the country that the joint security teams, have cut off all exit areas on the border between Uganda and the DRC in search for the victims, since the park is along the border.

We strongly believe the perpetrators, and victims could still be trapped within our search area, and we are hopeful that our efforts will lead to their successful recovery.

We want to further reassure the public that this is the first of incident of this kind registered in such a very peaceful settling, and those planning to visit the national park and its surroundings should not be discouraged. strengthened safely measures have been put in place for both local residents and visitors. we appeal for any information that could lead us to apprehend the suspects and rescue the victims.”

By Doreen Menezer

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CRIME

GUILTY AS CHARGED: You Kidnapped And Killed Her – Court Finally Convicts Pine Car Bond Businessman Sebuufu On Katushabe’s Murder

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It was tears and jubilation as pine car bond businessman Muhammad Sebuufu and seven others were convicted on the murder of businesswoman Donna Betty Katushabe, a former Centenary bank employee. 

“I found out that state has proved beyond reasonable doubt all the ingredients in the three counts of murder, kidnap with intention to murder and armed robbery which were charged against Muhammad Ssebuufu, Phillip Mirambe, Steven Lwanga, Shaban Odutu, Paul Tasingika,  Dameseni Ssentongo, Godfrey Kayinza  and I  convict them,” High Court Judge Flavia Anglin Senoga said. She said that the prosecution team led by senior state prosecutor Michael Ojok  and Winfred Ahimbisibwe placed Sebuufu and his co-accussed on the scene of crime at pine car bond in Kampala where the deceased was tortured from and later died at the entrance of  Kampala central police station.

The late Katushabe’s lawyer Annet Kyomugisha (2nd R)

The judge refuted the alibis which Sebuufu based on to defend himself that on the day Katushabe was tortured, he was at Mwanga 2 court in Mengo not at pine as the state witnesses testified. The judge stated that the convict had malice forethought to murder the deceased because after planning the move to kidnap her from her home in Bwebajja on Entebbe road instead of driving her to Kampala central police station. The soft-spoken judge said that the act of taking Katushabe to pine car bond showed that the suspects wanted to negotiate with her on how to pay the remaining shs9m on the purchased Toyota Premio from pine car bond. 

She based her judgment on the postmortem report which indicated that Katushabe was first tortured before she died. The learned judge wondered why the convicts instead of torturing the deceased didn’t file a civil suit so that their balance is paid through civil courts. She noted that the suspect participated in committing the crime according to the testimony of Peter Tumusiime, a lawyer who was sent to pine to rescue Katushabe from Sebuufu’s hands.

Tumusiime told court that he saw with his necked eye Sebuufu and Odutu undressing and beating up the deceased while squeezing her breasts and private parts. The judge further pointed out the star testimony was from Annet Kyomugisha, a lawyer to Katushabe, who told court that it was Sebuufu who called her on phone and put Katushabe on the loud speaker. Katushabe was crying and begging her lawyer to look for money because her captors had promised to kill her if she did not get the money.

Katushabe’s relatives jubilating

However, the judge put Steven Lwanga, a special hire driver at pine on charges of associating with the convicts who murdered Katushabe because when he was hired to drive Katushabe to police, he drove her back to pine where she was seriously tortured. State prosecutor Michael Ojok asked for an adjournment to prepare his submission on the sentencing because the convict deserves a maximum punishment of death. Sebuufu’s lawyer Evans Ochang told journalists that he is not happy with the judgment and he has to first read the entire judgment before advising his client on the way forward and whether to appeal in the court or not.

Katushabe’s relatives celebrated after the judgment and applauded the judge for standing by the truth adding that Sebuufu bribed all the people who were handling their case since 2015. Robert Muhindo, a brother to Katushabe said that even though Katushabe is dead and they can’t return her life, she will feel very contentedwherever she is. The convicted will know their fate on 1st July 2019.

By Jamil Lutakome

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It Was A Stage Managed Robbery – Rwomushana Punches Holes In Fang Fang Hotel Roberry

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Former State House operative cum political commentator Charles Rwomushana has punched holes in the robbery at Fang Fang hotel in Nakasero over the weekend.

On Sunday night, a joint team of Internal Security Organisation (ISO) and other security personnels allegedly arrested two soldiers and their driver in a foiled armed robbery at Fang Fang Hotel near Sheraton Kampala Hotel.

The security forces identified the suspects as Cpl Abbas Majid, Lance Cpl Ivan Asiimwe and their driver Ivan Opio.

They say the suspects were armed with two Sub-Machine Guns loaded with 300 bullets. They allegedly attacked the hotel at midnight but were intercepted by security operatives from ISO and SFC. The fourth suspect is still on the run.

Rwomushana, who is a security operative himself says, “Four Museveni soldiers are said to have been involved in a foiled robbery at Fang Fang.

This story breaks on the heels of the Nansana attack. I have argued before and I will still do that the Nansana attack was not a robbery. I wouldn’t consider the NRA attack on Kabale Bank of Uganda currency centre a robbery. This Fang Fang operation appears interesting. The targeted available amount of money was five million shillings. Gross profit for each soldier involved in the operation was averagely one million shillings.”

Rwomushana adds, “Most of these operators are noncommissioned officers (NCOs)…whose salaries are way above Museveni LDUs. ..above 300,000.

Expenses would include money for the informer insider, surveillance operations etc. Take home would be around 500,000. That is two months’ salary.

So what would be the motivation for Museveni military unit to indulge in such a silly robbery? I don’t see money being the motivating factor.

Did the purported robbery take place? Or its merely stage managed as propaganda to show that yes soldiers are involved in robberies but ISO and SFC are very efficient in curtailing them? I’m sure Fang Fang has a cctv camera system. Kindly upload those motion pictures so that the Thomas in me confirms the resurrection. Otherwise I will hold its another episode in a complex movie.”

By Doreen Menezer

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Sheikh Charged With Killing Maama Fiina’s Husband Released On Bail, Ordered To Avoid Preaching Inciting Sermons

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High court International Crimes Division Judge Duncan Gaswaaga has released Tabliq sect acting Amir sheikh Ramathan Mwanje on bail from Luzira prison where he has been since 2016.

The judge was very convinced with the four sureties that Mwanje presented and he agreed with the lawyers of the applicant that Mwanje has a fixed place of abode in Makindye Division. The prosecution did not present any evidence that Mwanje’s release would interfere with the state investigations. “It’s fair and just to grant him bail on grounds that his continued detention infringes his fundamental rights,” the Judge stated.

He was released on a non cash bail of shs20m while his sureties were ordered to execute a shs10m non cash bond to ensure that they compel Mwanje to report back to court when he is need. The sheikh has further been forbidden from preaching while making statements that are deemed to incite other Muslims to engage in criminal acts. He was also warned to always be humbled and disciplined to and co-operative with security agencies who may approach him in respect to this case.

He was also ordered to report to court every Tuesday of every month until he receives further orders from court. Mwanje is charged with Muhammad Buyondo, Adbul Wahaab Ssendegeya, Musa Ssekandi and Yusuf Nyanzi of killing major Muhammad Kiggundu and his body guard captain Steven Mukasa, aiding and abetting terrorism and confessing that he belonged to a terrorist group of ADF between 2010 and 2017.

By Jamil Lutakome

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