Kagezi Murder File Still Empty Two Years After Shooting

Immediately after the assassination of Joan Kagezi in March 2015, police jumped into action carrying out random arrests. Two years later, however, there is no progress beyond witness statements, scene of crime and ballistic reports.
There's still no headway in the investigations into the murder state prosecutor Joan Kagezi two years after she was gunned down in Najjera, a Kampala suburb.


Kagezi, who until her death was the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, was shot dead by yet to be identified assailants on the evening of Friday March 30, 2015 while she drove home from the city.


Immediately after the assassination, police jumped into action carrying out random arrests based on suspicious characters and the composite image of one of the suspects. Two years later, however, there is no progress beyond witness statements, scene of crime and ballistic reports.


Most of the suspects were soon released or charged with other cases after it was revealed that they had no connection to Kagezi murder.


Files for most of the arrested suspects were created and sent to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for sanctioning. The DPP, however, returned the files and in some cases proposed different charges on the suspects.


Among those who police preferred charges related to the Kagezi murder are the suspects acquitted of the July 11th 2010 twin bombings in Kampala in which close to 80 people died.


Jane Kajuga, the DPP spokesperson, says there has been no evidence to warrant prosecution.


"There is no single person who has been charged with the Kagezi murder. We have not been availed with any evidence that warrants a prosecution," Kajuga says.


The file into Kagezi murder remains open but little effort, if any, is being put in the investigations with all leads having been explored but led to no tangible results.


Attempts to get a comment from police on the efforts being put to redeem the investigations were futile as the spokesperson, Asan Kasingye, could not be reached on phone and in office.


At the time of her shooting, Kagezi had stopped at a fruit stall by the road side where she normally stopped to purchase fruits, when the assailants riding on a motorcycle stopped next to the parked vehicle and shot her twice in the neck and shoulder, through the window on the driver's side. Kagezi's three children, who were with her in the vehicle, escaped unhurt.


The assailants rode off immediately.


Grace Akullo, the Director of Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID), who by coincidence was driving some distance behind Kagezi on the day of the shooting, was the first police officer on the scene.


Akullo coordinated the evacuation of the deceased to Mulago hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.


Kagezi was in charge of the International Crimes Division handling international crimes such as terrorism, war crimes, and trafficking in persons. At the time of her tragic demise she was the lead prosecutor in the case of the 2010 terror suspects before the High Court.


She was also working with the Police in the prosecution of the suspects in the spate of murders, robberies and terrorism in Busoga region and Kampala.


Prior to her death, at least nine Muslim clerics had been killed in the same way she was killed, with gunmen arriving on the scene riding motorcycles and disappearing using the same after committing the crime.


In November 2016, at least one year and seven months after Kagezi's shooting, a similar incident happened in Masanafu, a suburb west of Kampala. Major Muhammed Kiggundu, a former member of the Allied Democratic Front (ADF) rebels was gunned down together with his body guard, Sergeant Mukasa. Just like in the Kagezi incident, the shooters were riding on motorcycles.


On the morning of March 17, 2017, gunmen riding on motorcycles ambushed the vehicle in which Assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Felix Kaweesi was travelling in and killed him. Also killed were Kaweesi's driver Godfrey Mambewa and body guard Kenneth Erau.


Kaweesi was among those who vowed to find Kagezi's killers and he repeated the same pledge when Kiggundu was killed. Now that Kaweesi also became a victim, the Uganda Police Force detectives find themselves with a bigger task to find not just the killers of Kagezi but those of others such as Kiggundu and Kaweesi.