17 March 2017

Uganda: Police Spokesperson Kaweesi Shot Dead

Photo: Anthony Wesaka/Monitor
People gathered at one of the shops along Market Street in Kampala to watch television news about Assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Felix Kaweesi's murder.

Police spokesman Andrew Felix Kaweesi, his driver Godfrey Mambewa and the bodyguard Corporal Kenneth Erau have been shot dead in a Friday morning shooting near his home in Kulambiro in Kisaasi, a Kampala suburb.

The trio was shot dead by unknown assailants just about 100 metres away from Kaweesi's home. According to several witness accounts, the assailants were riding on two taxi motorcycles locally known as boda bodas.

Eye witnesses say the shooting lasted for more than 10 minutes and more than 50 shots fired. The shooting occurred at about 9.30m. According to witnesses, the assailants first shot at the Police car from both sides, registration number UP4778.

Some witnesses claim that that many shots were fired, because initially the bullets could not penetrate the seemingly bullet-proof car windows. But after several attempts, the windows were shattered and all the three occupants shot at point blank range as they attempted to flee. By 11am, the car's engine was still running and the lights still on.

The three bodies have been taken to Mulago for a postmortem.

The 3 bodies driven away from the scene of the shooting in Kulambiro where police spox Andrew Kaweesi was killed pic.twitter.com/kNIBV8atCU

According to witnesses, today's shooting was akin to the way Muslim clerics and state prosecutor Joan Kagezi were gunned down in the yesteryears.

Who is Felix Kaweesi?

Kaweesi began his police career in 2001. After graduating at the police training school, Kibuli and serving in the force for about three years, he was appointed a personal assistant to Police Chief Gen. Kale Kayihura. He was promoted after about two years and deployed as the head of Kabalye Police Training School.

From Kabalye, Kaweesi became the Commandant of Kampala Metropolitan Police and was promoted to the rank of AIGP. Kaweesi also served as the Director of Operations before being appointed Director of Human Resource Development in the Uganda Police Force.

At the time of his deployment in Kampala in 2011, the city was battling the Walk to Work protests, initiated by former presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye after the 2011 elections.

He was appointed police spokesperson in August last year, to take over a mandate previously held by Fred Enanga, becoming the first person at the rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) to serve as a spokesperson in the History of the Uganda Police Force.

Kaweesi's appointment came at a time when the Police Force was fighting a tainted image, in conflict with institutions like the Judiciary and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions. Police was also facing criticism from the opposition, the diplomatic core and civil society organizations over brutality and corruption.

His duties included among others, re-branding the police force through its public relations department. He however maintained his position as the Director of the Human Resource Development.

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