Long list of unsolved murders haunts police

Kampala. On Sunday September 9, grief-stricken Hajj Abubakar Kawooya saw the remains of his son, the slain former Buyende District Police Commander Mohammad Kirumira, lowered in his final resting place in Mpambire, Mpigi District.
“You terrorists who killed my son you have really hurt us”, he said, with tears rolling down his eyes.

About 90 kilometers apart in Mpenja Sub-county, Gomba District, a similar mood of anguish hovered over mourners as they heaved crystals of earth into the grave of Resty Nalinya, a friend of the late Kirumira.
Kirumira, 34, and Nalinya, 26, were both shot dead in Bulenga Trading Centre in Wakiso District on Saturday evening, adding to a growing list of Ugandans, who have been shot dead by gunmen riding on motorcycles. Since the shooting on Saturday, police have not made any arrests yet.

The Saturday murders came exactly three months after a similar brutal elimination of then Arua Municipality Member of Parliament Ibrahim Abiriga and bodyguard Saidi Buga Kongo at Kawanda, Wakiso District. Even in this particular murder, no arrests have so far been made.
Last year, this paper quoting Police Deputy Director for Human Resource Department, Mr Felix Ndyomugyenyi, indicated that police have thousands unresolved homicide cases committed in the last four years.
Of the 4,500 cases, less than 100 murders have been resolved.

Police spokesperson Emilian Kayima last evening said many cases collapse at infancy due to how Ugandans respond to crimes.
“Often times, people trample unto the crime scene which jeopardizes investigations,” Mr Kayima said.
Another reason why investigations fail, Mr Kayima said, is that Ugandans are reluctant to report criminals to authorities.

“They need to help police in case they identified those involved so that we can ably follow the leads in order to apprehend criminals and bring them to book,” he said.
He was, however, quick to add that police and other security organs have prevented several murders and it was unfair to say police have failed in their duty.

Mr Fred Egesa, a security expert, said police and other security organs have to go back to the basics if they are to have investigations that can lead to convictions in court.
“In most cases, these murder cases have collapsed right from start at the crime scene,” Mr Egesa said, adding: “Our scene of crime officers lack the training and experience. Do they know what to do when they go there? I see some carrying cameras there and they think they are securing the scene,”
The genesis for lack proper training, Mr Egesa said, was when police started promoting officers not on merit at the expense of experienced officers with good reputation.
“You find a young man who has just finished university is the regional CID but he has never headed even a division. In policing, the more cases you handle, the more you get experience. What is happening now is people are after titles,” Mr Egesa said.

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