Kampala, Uganda – President Yoweri Museveni on Thursday said he is investigating circumstances under which former national boxing champion Isaac Ssenyange alias Zebra Mando was shot and killed by security personnel on Wednesday night.
In a televised New Year’s message, the Ugandan president regretted the unfortunate incident and promised to bring his findings to the knowledge of the family.
“I specifically decided to take on his [Ssenyange’s] case and have so far found out he was killed by security personnel,” said Museveni in his New Year national address.
“Iam very sorry, so sorry about this. I will bring my entire findings to the knowledge of the family. Iam very sorry,” he added.
Mr. Museveni said that because of the weakness of police, he deployed highly trained soldiers to help hunt for people being used by the opposition politicians to cause havoc in Kampala and other surrounding areas.
According to the president, these soldiers are among those who had been fighting Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels at the DR Congo border and Al-Shabaab terrorists in Somalia.
“This is because of the weakness of police. These units (soldiers) started operating around Kampala and other areas. They were able to deal with some hard-core criminals who had turned some parts of Kampala a no-go area,” Mr. Museveni said.
Museveni said the deceased was an NRM supporter who was mistaken for training wrong people seeking to destabilize Kampala.
“These are operations against people who are misled by corrupt, weak police and violent politicians,” Museveni said, before apologizing for Ssenyange’s death which he said was due to the reckless and violent conduct of some opposition leaders, especially in National Unity Platform (NUP).
“I did not know Zebra. I was however, told he was supposed to meet me because he was doing some good work for us (mobilising for NRM in Kawempe division),” the president said, adding that Zebra had even taken a Covid-19 test ahead of their planned meeting.
“I however, got some information on how some of the people he trained were being used to cause havoc,” Museveni said.
According to the wife, Zebra was in the sitting room when the security people arrived but instead of opening, he went outside through the back door. She (wife) opened for the soldiers. They entered but Zebra had gone. Apparently, he climbed over the fence and went somewhere, a distance away from his house. The wife and the son cooperated with the security. After climbing over the fence, Zebra bumped into another security team (which was part of the one he left at his house). The soldiers involved say when they tried to stop him, he refused to stop.
The president also said that his security personnel told him that Zebra tried to fight them and that is how they ended up shooting him twice.
Ssenyange is best remembered for having led the Bombers to the 10th All Africa Games hosted in Maputo city, Mozambique in 2011.