A day after President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni admitted that the former national boxing captain, Isaac Ssenyange alias Mando Zebra, was shot dead by security personnel, it has emerged that he was shot nine times by about 12 officers who were moving in numberless vehicles.
Ssenyange was killed in the wee hours of Wednesday morning – about 40 metres from his home in St. Francis Zone, Bwaise III Parish, Kawempe Division, in Kampala. Some bullets were found stuck in metallic poles near the murder scene. Witnesses said that the killers did not know Zebra but went looking for him using a photo.
A security source who has reviewed the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras erected on roads and buildings in the area intimated that video clips show 12 armed men in black attires resembling those of Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force (JATT) or Counter-Terrorism disembarking from two numberless vehicles.
According to the source, the operatives took over major and minor routes including corridors leading to St. Francis Zone and entire Bwaise III parish. The source added that President Museveni assigned the intelligence team from Special Forces Command (SFC) on Wednesday afternoon to review CCTV footage at Kampala central police station (CPS) and they all concluded that it was not an ordinary murder but a botched security operation.
“They came here and they looked at the CCTV footage. They immediately concluded the vehicle belonged to a military security agency. They went and briefed the president that is why he has come out to admit,” said the source.
Museveni in his end of year address, said when he heard the unfortunate death of Ssenyange, who was also working for the Uganda Boxing Federation, he telephoned the wife who narrated to him the events in detail.
Museveni said Ssenyange was a ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) supporter and has been mobilising for the party. Ssenyange, according to Museveni, was also training many youths in the ghetto and giving them hope in the search for a meaningful life.
“Indeed, Zebra was meant to come and see me when he was killed. Zebra’s wife told me people in police uniform came to pick Zebra but he jumped over the wall and could have met another group who shot him. At first, I thought they were thugs disguising in uniform, but as I continued investigations, I found out that Zebra was killed by security personnel,” said Museveni.
The president said Ssenyange’s killing was sad and devastating. Museveni apologized on behalf of security personnel and vowed to keep on the case and would bring every finding to the knowledge of his family and the murderers will be dealt with accordingly.
Eric Kakooza, a resident in Bwaise said that Ssenyange attempted to escape after his killers knocked on the door to his house. Kakooza said, unfortunately, Ssenyange took a dead-end route that ended prematurely and he turned back with his hands raised up in a sign of surrender. But his killers shot at him as soon as they confirmed that he was the Zebra Ssenyange they were looking for.
“Ssenyange jumped over a wall and scaled over another. Unfortunately, the route ended and he came back. They asked him “are you Zebra’ and he said yes. He was then shot dead,” Kakooza narrated.
A senior police source said the gun captured in the CCTV footage and bullet casings recovered from the scene indicate that it was not an ordinary police unit that has such guns.
Ssenyange’s fellow boxer and friend Robert Mukasa commonly known as Sojja Man (soldier man) was reportedly also taken by the killers. There have been rumours that he too was murdered and body dumped near Bombo military barracks. However, police say they haven’t discovered anybody suspected to be that of Mukasa.