Abiriga’s murder scene: eye witnesses reconstruct final moments
Arua Municipality Member of Parliament, Col. Ibrahim Abiriga was on Friday evening shot dead together with his bodyguard, a UPDF soldier as he returned home by unknown assailants.
He was killed, 200 metres from his home in Matugga, Wakiso district.
However, like other recent prominent murders in the country, circumstances under which the legislator was killed could not easily be understood as many of the eyewitnesses gave varying accounts of what could have happened on the fateful evening.
Most of the locals, who claim to have witnessed the brutal murder, asked not to be named so as to speak freely. Here is what some saw.
“Two motorcycles came following Abiriga’s vehicle before one of them overtook it whereas the second one stayed behind,” said one of the eyewitness.
“We heard a shower of bullets and everyone ran for their life,” he added.
However, another eyewitness account was that as the legislator slowed down as he used to do to greet locals, shortly, bullets started flying in the air.
“As one group fired in the air, another sprayed a number of bullets onto the vehicle, “added another eyewitness.
Unconfirmed reports from the locals say that Abiriga who was driving his yellow Beetle Volkswagen had lowered down one of the car windows in a bid to greet a group of children who were singing his name.
At that point the assassins struck.
However, none of the eyewitnesses could easily tell the exact identity of the assailants but all of them believed they were riding on motorcycles which they used to take off after the gruesome incident.
At the scene, Abiriga’s yellow Volkswagen of the UBB series could be seen with the left indicators still flashing as it leaned against a jackfruit tree on the right hand side of the road.
By the look of things, the vehicle could have hit the tree as the occupants tried to flee.
Meanwhile, bullets holes would be seen on both sides of the vehicle, as well as the front windscreen.
Locals described the late as a good neighbour, who despite of his status mingled with them freely.
“Whenever he returned, he could stop to greet us on top of giving us some money,” said one of the locals.
It was said that even on the fateful day, Abiriga was set to join other Muslim believers in breaking the fast from a mosque which is only 100 metres from the scene of crime.
The gruesome murder puzzled security considering the developments after the incident.
Police and later the army deployed heavily as they cordoned off a bigger area in a bid to carry out a scrutiny of the entire area trying to look for clues about the suspects behind the incident.
Later, both Internal Affairs ministers, Gen.Jeje Odong and Obiga Kania arrived the scene but looked shocked and disturbed by what had happened.
“It is so sad,”Odong told journalists. “This was a senseless killing and by all means we shall get these killers.”
The ministers were joined by Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence(CMI) chief, Brig.Abel Kandiho, Internal Security Organisation director General ,Col.Kaka Bagyenda, Police Counter Terrorism director, AIGP Abbas Byakagaba and Kampala Metropolitan area commander Moses Kafeero
These security chiefs who visited the scene of crime later went to the deceased’s home but all looked crestfallen over what had just happened.
They could be seen involved in a number of meetings, arguably to brainstorm on what and where to start from in carrying out investigations into the gruesome murder.
President Museveni on Friday directed security agencies to find the ‘senseless’ assailants who shot dead Abiriga and his bodyguard. On Saturday morning, he visited the crime scene and Abiriga’s home.
“I have received news about the senseless killing of Arua Municipality MP, Hon Ibrahim Abiriga, and his bodyguard on the city’s outskirts. I have tasked security agencies to expeditiously find these killers and the nation will be updated soon. May Hon Abiriga’s soul rest in peace,”Museveni tweeted.