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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Gunmen kill senior Ugandan police official, president orders cameras

Uganda's police investigators are seen working at the cordoned off scene of crime where unknown gunmen killed the spokesman for Uganda's police force Felix Kaweesi and two other victims, in capital Kampala, Uganda March 17, 2017. REUTERS/James Akena
Uganda's police investigators are seen working at the cordoned off scene of crime where unknown gunmen killed the spokesman for Uganda's police force Felix Kaweesi and two other victims, in capital Kampala, Uganda March 17, 2017. REUTERS/James Akena

Gunmen on motorbikes killed Uganda's third highest ranking police officer on Friday, drawing condemnation from President Yoweri Museveni who ordered the installation of surveillance cameras in major towns and on highways.

The unidentified shooters sprayed bullets at Assistant Inspector General Andrew Felix Kaweesi's car after he left his home in a northern neighbourhood of the capital.

The gunmen's motive was not immediately clear. Kaweesi was a former head of police operations in greater Kampala and gained a prominent public profile for overseeing the frequent arrests of Uganda's main opposition leader, Kizza Besigye.

Local television showed a crowd gathered at the scene and a parked Toyota Landcruiser with both doors on the driver's side open. Blood was spattered on the ground.

Crime is rampant in Uganda and most homicides go unsolved.

Condemning the killing, Museveni's office said: "As a consequence of these repeated murders in the city ... the president has directed the immediate installation of cameras in all major towns of Uganda and along the highways."

Last month the Daily Monitor newspaper reported that only 15 out of 1068 murders recorded in 2015 were prosecuted. A year earlier, only 19 murder cases were prosecuted out of 943 cases.

Government critics have long accused police of cracking down on opponents of Museveni instead of fighting crime. The murder of a well guarded security official will further heighten fears over public safety.

In power since 1986, 72-year-old Museveni won another five-year term last year.

More on this: Ugandan major Sulaiman Kiggundu, driver shot dead

'Mafia state'

While terming the incident shocking and paralysing, Opposition leader Kizza Besigye said the death is "an obvious indication that Uganda has now been turned into a mafia state".

He said the death should be a wake up call to the public and called for thorough investigations.

United States Embassy Uganda has condemned the attack saying there is no justification for the murders.

"There is no justification for violence or murder. We hope police will find and bring to justice those responsible for this crime," the Mission said via twitter.

The embassy extended its condolences to the family at the police fraternity.

"We are saddened and distressed by news of AIGP Kaweesi's death and extend deepest condolences," they said.


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