On December 5th, at Kyeyitabya zone, Bukasa Parish in Makindye division, a meticulously planned robbery unfolded, resulting in the theft of shs2.4 billion from the residence of Barbara Nekesa Oundo, the treasurer for the ruling NRM party.
The shocking incident led to the arrest of at least 12 individuals, including four police officers who were implicated in orchestrating the heist.
The mastermind behind the elaborate plan was Constable Michael Wango, a police guard stationed at Nekesa’s home for the past one and a half years. Over the course of his tenure, Wango discovered that Nekesa habitually stored substantial amounts of money in bags at her residence, both in US dollars and Ugandan shillings.
Wango collaborated with four other police officers, namely Sgt Idro Dominic, PC Sharif Mugoya, Arinda Edgar, and Nuwagaba Rogers (replaced by an individual referred to as Pallaso, distinct from the musician). According to Police spokesperson Fred Enanga, Wango disabled the alarm system, disconnected the electric fence, adjusted security lights, and manipulated CCTV cameras to evade detection during the execution of their plan.
On the night of December 4th, Mugoya, Arinda, and Pallaso entered Nekesa’s compound with assistance, patiently waiting until 4 am to initiate their mission. Unbeknownst to them, CCTV cameras in the neighborhood captured their entry. To conceal their identities, they inflicted controlled injuries on Wango and seized two rifles in his possession.
Proceeding to the servants’ quarters, the attackers confronted three maids and coerced them to open the doors to the main house. However, Nekesa, forewarned by one of the maids, managed to hide in a room. The assailants threatened her, compelling her to reveal the location of the money. They looted five bags filled with cash, along with other valuables, including an iPhone Promax, a golden ring, CCTV camera system DVR, Tecno phone, and Huawei phone. Two police guns were later discarded in a garden.
After hiding briefly in a banana plantation, the assailants fled when a local guard flashed a torch. They left behind bags filled with money. Boarding getaway motorcycles, they headed to Nsambya police barracks. Nekesa reported the theft, claiming shs41 million personally and shs2.4 billion belonging to her husband, Hajji Suleiman Lumolo, had been stolen.
At Nsambya police barracks, Mugoya distributed the loot, with Wango receiving shs220 million, earmarking shs20 million for potential bail. Edgar Arinda received shs200 million, and the boda boda rider, Josh Kalinda, who assisted in the getaway, received shs20 million. Sgt Nuwagaba, who withdrew from the mission, was given shs8 million, while Mugoya retained shs230 million for himself.
A casual laborer, Samuel Opio Obote, near Nekesa’s residence, stumbled upon an unspecified amount of money, an empty bag, and a police uniform. Opio’s extravagant spending drew attention, prompting his boss to investigate. Opio’s room revealed a significant sum, leading to the recovery of part of the stolen money.
The arrest followed, and the suspects faced charges of aggravated robbery, receiving stolen money, and being accessories after the fact. They were remanded to Luzira, with the search ongoing for Pallaso, who is on the run. The incident raises concerns about the security of keeping such a substantial amount of cash at home rather than in a bank.