6 March 2018

Uganda: CMI Arrest Key Suspect in Susan Magara Murder

Military Intelligence operatives have arrested the prime suspect in the murder of Susan Magara and several others.

The military refused to reveal how many suspects were arrested but confirmed arrest of one Ronald Asiimwe, alias Kanyankole.

"Yes, it is true Kanyankole was arrested but there is a lot more, it's not all about Kanyankole alone," the Chief of Military Intelligence (CMI), Brig Abel Kandiho, told Daily Monitor yesterday.

When asked how many suspects have been arrested or where they were being detained, Brig Kandiho said such information is only for the investigators and revealing more at this stage would jeopardise the investigations.

He also refused to disclose where or when the military picked the suspects. Reports have been trickling in that the main suspect was picked three days ago in the city suburb of Wandegeya.

Magara was kidnapped on February 7 and kept for 20 days before she was murdered in cold blood and body dumped off Entebbe highway.

Reports had earlier on filtered in that the plan to kill her started some time back by a businessman who allegedly hired Kanyankole for the mission.

It is alleged that Kanyankole and his accomplices, who are still at large, kept Magara in Wakiso District in two locations.

Her family paid about Shs700m ransom the kidnappers demanded but nevertheless they murdered her.

Sources in security said Kanyankole was picked by military operatives of the Joint Anti-Terrorism Taskforce, the operations unit of CMI and the Internal Security Organisation (ISO).

Kanyankole's arrest

The military operatives reportedly found the suspect with four police officers seated in a car. However, the military operatives reportedly drew their weapons and identified themselves as JATT personnel while the policemen too identified themselves. The policemen are said to have claimed that Kanyankole was their informant, prompting the JATT operatives to arrest all of them.

When it was put to Brig Kandiho, he could not confirm whether the arrested suspects included policemen.

"It is true we have arrested some suspects but I will not reveal the names. The operations are going on and we are doing well. We really have the hope achieving something. But we cannot name the suspects when we are still looking for others," he said.

When asked how Kanyankole's name came into the public domain yet the operations were covert, he said that could have been the work of an insider.

Mistakes

"That's where we go wrong. If you have mentioned Kanyankole when you are looking for his associates and they know you are looking for them, are you making our work easy or difficult? Whoever put it out was wrong and it could even be coming from within. Now you make the whole people run away, criminals are crossing the borders because the name Kanyankole has appeared, many have switched off their phones, they have thrown away their SIM cards," he said.

However, Brig Kandiho said the operations were moving on well and more suspects would be arrested.

He warned the public against speculating and giving out names of the suspects. He said such information will only alert those who are still in hiding to further evade arrest.

The UPDF spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire, who had earlier on, refused to confirm the arrest said people should have confidence in the security forces that they will do a good job.

"Be assured that the security forces will do anything to protect you and you should not get scared," he said.

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