27 December 2012

Uganda: Who Killed Mbarara Businessman Tusherure?

After a hard day's work, all 45-year-old Yosan Tusherure wanted was to return home but on his way home, he encountered a roadblock that had been staged by unknown assailants to kill him, write Charles Etukuri and Nomax Mugisha.

An established businessman in Mbarara town, Yosan Tusherure had cut his niche in real estate, the transport sector and owned Crane Transporters, a company that also dealt in general trading.

On Thursday, December 13, after fi nishing his day's errands in town, he set out to go home in Katete Ward, Nyamitanga Division in Mbarara Municipality.

As he was driving his tipper truck, registration number UAJ 019L from Kakeeka to Mbarara town, he encountered a roadblock, but there was nobody manning it.

He stopped his car thinking it was the Police carrying out routine inspection. Unknown to him, thugs had set up the roadblock to kill him.

Sensing something was amiss, the deceased hurriedly tried to reverse, but it was too late. Three men jumped out of the bush and shot at the car. The bullets ripped through the front screen, killing him.

"They fi red several shots, but only three of them ripped through his body, killing him instantly in his car," says Polly Namaye, the western region police commander. The neighbours in the area alerted the Police that they had heard gunshots. Twenty minutes later, the Police arrived at the scene but it was too late.

"By the time we reached, we saw a car parked in the middle of the road," adds Namaye. Approaching the car cautiously, the Police stumbled on the deceased's body still in the driver's seat.

A sniffer dog was immediately deployed to trail the suspects who had taken off on foot. They were only able to recover a magazine that had been dumped. Bullet shells were also recovered at the scene of the murder.


Investigators believe the assailants were only after Tusherure's life. They did not rob anything from him - his wallet was intact. "They left his body in the car and there was no evidence that they were after anything," Namaye confi rmed.

Police sources believe the killers trailed the deceased right from his place of work to the fi nal scene of the murder.

"A car that had just passed at the same road five minutes before had not encountered the road block, giving an indication that there was someone who had trailed the deceased, known what car he was driving and when he was almost approaching the scene alerted the assassins to lay ambush," says the Police source.


A day after he had been shot dead, the Police started following a lead that the death could have been caused by a rivalry between Tusherure and a soldier over a woman.

It is reported that a number of times, the deceased told his close friends about the threats he was receiving from the soldier and had even showed his friends messages this rival was sending him.

In one of the messages, sent two weeks before the murder, the offi cer told Tusherure that his days were numbered if he kept on flirting with his wife.

"We received leads that he had shared with his friends that somebody who was allegedly an army officer was sending him messages asking him (Tusherure) to leave his wife alone or else he would die," says one of the detectives who handled the case.

Acting on this tip-off, the Police arrested the offi cer and two other suspects, but after interrogations, they were released.

"We found out that they had no connection whatsoever to the incident and decided to let them go, but the investigations are still going on," Namaye says.

The regional police commander, Martin Abilu, says: "The main suspect was at home on the day of the fateful shooting and was not at the scene or near the scene of the murder, so it was pointless for us to detain them yet we did not have enough evidence."

He says they had acted on reports of the threatening messages, but that they had not yet received copies of the print out from the mobile operators to show that the deceased was in contact with the suspects.

"Once we get the printouts, we shall then build a case," Abilu added. Both Abilu and Namaye say the Police had intensified investigation and were currently following other important clues and were narrowing down on the suspects. "I cannot divulge the details now," Namaye says.


The family however is not happy with the course of investigations and are blaming police for laxity. "Why does it take our national police more than two weeks to obtain a print out from the mobile companies," and irked relative asked.

The family is petitioning the Inspector General of Police, Maj. Kale Kayihura to intervene so that they can get justice. "We have seen cases where he has intervened and justice prevailed," the relative added.


Sunday Vision has learnt that among the leads the Police was following were reports that the deceased could have been bumped off by business rivals.

Sources say Crane Transporters had been awarded a juicy contract in the district and this had unruffled some of his colleagues' feathers.

Tusherure is the second businessman dealing in transport to be murdered. Just last month, another businessman, Dennis Mulangira, was called from his home by some people who claimed they wanted to give him his money.

They also claim they had received reports that he owed somebody money. At his burial at his ancestral home in Masha Isingiro district, his father Fenekansi Bwiruka called on the Police to help bring to book his son's murderers.

"All I want is justice for my son," he begs. For now all eyes are set on the Police as they scratch their heads to pick up the suspects and they are calling upon anyone with evidence to report to the Police with the information.

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