Home Courts Trial Set for Ugandan Police Officer Charged in Moneylender’s Shooting

Trial Set for Ugandan Police Officer Charged in Moneylender’s Shooting

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trial set for ugandan officer charged in moneylenders shooting
trial set for ugandan officer charged in moneylenders shooting
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A Ugandan police constable, Ivan Wabwire, accused of fatally shooting an Indian moneylender at Raja Chambers on Parliamentary Avenue in Kampala, has been committed to the High Court for trial. The Buganda Road Chief Magistrate, Ronald Kayizzi, made this decision on Friday.

The prosecution, led by Ivan Kyazze and senior state attorney Timothy Amerit on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Jane Francis Abodo, presented an indictment to the court. The indictment states that on May 12, with malice aforethought, Wabwire unlawfully killed Uttam Bhandari.

The indictment further reveals that on May 10, 2023, PC Steven Murombo went to the armory of Central Police Station (CPS) Kampala and signed for an SMG rifle AK 47 with 120 rounds of ammunition. He informed PC Nobody Mudasiri, the acting armory man at the time, that he was going to perform duties at Nakivubo Community Police Post. He returned the gun on May 12.

“On the same day (May 12), at around 08:20 hours, Murombo went back and signed for the same rifle from the armory and notified Mudasiri that he was going to perform certain duties at Nakivubo Community. He was given the same rifle with 120 rounds of ammunition and went with it to his room in CPS, which he shared with Wabwire,” reads part of the indictment.

The DPP states that when Murombo arrived in the room with the rifle, he changed into civilian clothes as he was going to seek medical attention, leaving Wabwire alone in the room.

Wabwire had reportedly borrowed money from TFS financial services, a money lending entity where Bhandari, the deceased, was a director and proprietor. Wabwire had defaulted on payments, leading to disputes over the outstanding amount.

On May 12, 2023, Wabwire decided to dress in police uniform, took Murombo’s gun, and went by boda boda to TFS financial services. There, he entered the deceased’s office and after a discussion, fired several shots at the TV screen displaying the CCTV scenes. He then shot the deceased multiple times, resulting in his death.

The DPP plans to rely on CCTV cameras and private surveillance cameras at Raja Chambers to support their case. They will also use evidence such as Wabwire’s medical report stating he was mentally fit at the time, the postmortem report of the deceased, the crime scene report, and more.

The indictment also notes that although Wabwire had a chronic mental illness called schizophrenia, a mental status report from Butabika Hospital concluded that he was mentally fit to provide a statement about his actions leading to the incident. It stated that his mental illness did not influence his capacity to carry out the actions that resulted in the murder, as suggested by the DDP’s indictment.