2 February 2013

Uganda: Kajubi's Witchdoctor Joins Police Force

A traditional healer, Umar Katerega, who is said to have beheaded 12-year-old Joseph Kasirye on the instruction of city businessman Godfrey Kato Kajubi, is now working with the Uganda Police Force.

New Vision recently met Katerega at Kazinga police post as he prepared to go for an operation with three other uniformed officers. He carried a Police baton with him.

Katerega was a witchdoctor who turned into a State witness in a case that saw Kajubi jailed for life at Luzira Prison.

Katerega (pictured right) resides in Bweyogerere in Kiira town Council. He said he is attached to Kiira Division and currently heads operations at Kazinga Post, which is under the Bweyogerere Police station.

However, the Police denied reports that Katerega was one of them.

"He is not working with us. His testifying as a State witness does not make him a police officer. We did not even know that he lives in Bweyogerere.

"If he is involved in any criminal activities, we encourage the public to report the cases to us," Deputy Police publicist Vincent Ssekate said.

An LC official who chose to remain anonymous, said Katerega was a Police operative, whose attitude is causing them concern.

"We have received complaints that he beats up people. He has been operating a roadblock at night and picking up people and dumping them in the cells."

He cited an incident in Namugongo, where Katerega beat a civilian in broad day light into a coma, saying he had jumped police bond.

At Kazinga police post, an officer who did not want to be named, said: "He seems to receive his orders from above."

Katerega goes to CIID headquarters in Kibuli weekly, along with his wife Mariam Nabukera, demanding payment for their role in the successful conviction of Kajubi.

Katerega says co-operating with the Police during the trial gave him bad publicity.

"I was shunned and I am homeless. Where do you expect me to find a job? Police put me through this, so they pay me weekly for my upkeep as I also help them with work," Katerega said.

A police source said the decision to retain Katerega followed his request for financial assistance.

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