Kirumira, hero officer slain. Photo–Facebook.
A hero officer who was convicted for insubordination related charges several months ago after he denounced corruption on the Uganda Police Force was together with a passenger both shot and killed today.
Muhammad Kirumira, an assistant superintendent of police was last year hailed by Ugandans when he alleged that the police force had become an assassination army and that officers worked together with known bandits on a guns-for-hire basis.
Instead of working with Kirumira to combat the alleged crimes within the force, the regime of dictator Yoweri Museveni, who has held power for 32 years, arrested the officer and prosecuted him on what he contended were concocted charges of alleged insubordination and “excessive” use of authority. Kirumira was later convicted of some of the charges; he condemned what he called a “kangaroo court” proceeding and remained a hero even after he was suspended earlier this year. Separately, he had announced his resignation.
Kirumira and a woman passenger referred to in Uganda’s The Daily Monitor as Mukyala Ali reportedly shot dead inside his vehicle while driving home in Kampala by assassins on motorcycles, according to local media reports. Both were in the front seats, according to the media accounts. (The police later confirmed the deaths. Initial Uganda media accounts reported that it had been his wife with him in the car).
The killings are similar to how both the late Ibrahim Abiriga, former Member of Parliament from Arua and Andrew Kaweesi, a senior police commander, were assassinated by motorcycle gunmen. Abiriga was murdered inside his car in June 2018 together with his brother; Kaweesi, an assistant inspector general was killed in March 2017 together with his bodyguard and driver.
The most recent assassination prior to today’s killing of Kirumira was the shooting death on August 13 of Member of Parliament Bobi Wine’s driver Yasin Kawuma. He had been seated on the front passenger’s seat and Bobi Wine later tweeted that the bullets had been intended for him.
The Museveni regime has received considerable critical media coverage since August when it launched a campaign of terror against opposition leaders and their supporters right before an election for a Parliamentary seat it lost in August.
Two lawmakers, Bobi Wine and Francis Zaake have traveled overseas for treatment for injuries received from alleged torture by officers of the Special Forces Command, a notorious unit that receives funding from the U.S. and reports to Museveni’s son, Gen. Muhoozi Kaenerugaba.
Other lawmakers also abused in the August crackdown are being treated for various injuries inside Uganda.
Opposition leaders, including Bobi Wine, have called for a U.S. arms embargo on the Museveni regime.
The unsolved series of professional-caliber assassinations and the ongoing violence against the opposition lend credence to critics who contend that Gen. Museveni has discarded any pretense that he’s not a military dictator.
[The article was revised after police confirmed the deaths and corrected to reflect updated information about Ms. Mukyala Ali].