Crime & Investigation

EXCLUSIVE: Mbabazi Supporters Arrested Over Kanungu Fire

page geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>The suspects are Ali Rugomwa, the NRM Kanungu District Vice Chairperson who also doubles as the Vice Chairperson Kinkiizi West Constituency; and Drake Ankunda, a close relative of the Prime Minister.

Ankunda is an agent of External Security Organisation (ESO).

David Turyatemba alias Kihembe who is the chairman Amama Cup League together with an unidentified principal suspect were also arrested during the weekend as Police boss Gen Kale Kayihura probed circumstances under which Benson Karabareme’s leisure park caught fire.

Karabareme, who is the General Secretary for Kihiihi Traders’ Association, came to the national limelight after handing a plaque to President Museveni with the inscription ‘Our Sole Candidate 2016’.

He told Museveni during the latter’s visit to the district to flag off the reconstruction of Mitano Bridge that businessmen in the area want him to stand unopposed as the NRM candidate in the 2016 presidential elections.


However, this did not impress Kanungu political leaders who had earlier refused to back the Kyankwanzi resolution to front Museveni as the NRM flag-bearer in the upcoming polls.

Sitting in Kanungu, NRM leaders had resolved to back Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi for the presidency.

Karabareme’s decision shocked and angered NRM political leaders in the area with some vowing to retaliate.

Interestingly, less than a month after declaring support for Museveni, unknown attackers on Thursday raided and burnt down Karabareme’s amusement park popularly known as ‘Ekibingo’ located in Kihihi Town Council along Kihihi -Rukungiri road.

Chimpreports understands that Gen Kayihura on Friday travelled to Kanungu to investigate the incident.


Rugomwa, Ankunda and Turyatemba testified before a joint intelligence team of the Police Flying Squad and the Special Investigation Unit from head quarters Kibuli Kampala that was commanded by Charles Kataratambi.

The arrest of Mbabazi’s diehard supporters has caused unease in the district considering the trio is thought to be heading the main taskforce fronting Mbabazi for presidency.

Gen Kayihura touched down in Kihiihi Town on Saturday afternoon a board a blue police chopper AF-313 amid tight security.

He was led on a tour of Karabareme’s burnt premises where the police chief vowed to crack the whip on the attackers before leaving for a closed-door security meeting with regional security chiefs.

A source who attended the meeting told ChimpReports Kayihura grilled the security chiefs for several hours, saying the President wants “comprehensive notes” on the incident.

“The president called me and directed me to rush here after he got information that a person who expressed his support to him during his July 2, 2014 visit was being harassed and his business has been burnt down,” Kayihura told the security chiefs.

Kayihura said “whoever is behind this attack must face the full wrath of the law after investigations are complete.”

Kayihura was quoted as saying the Mbabazi camp should “be open if you want to contest for President instead of keeping quite as people continue losing their lives and property.”

He added: “This is not how they play politics. Politics is played in open such that people can choose other than keeping quite as people shed blood.”

According to police intelligence that leaked to us on Monday morning, the principal suspect who was arrested by the Police Flying Squad (named withheld on request) told detectives that Ankunda gave him Shs300, 000 for the mission.

The suspect further told police the money was handed to him in a vehicle which was being driven by Ankunda on Tuesday.

Police on Saturday carried out a search on the principal suspect’s place of residence where part of the money was recovered as exhibit.

The suspects were detained at Kihiihi Police Station on charges of arson under case number CRB.424/2014.

Karabareme said his destroyed property was worth shs65m.

Karabareme handing a plaque to Museveni early this month in Kanungu

“Ever since I said the business community in Kanungu support Museveni for President in 2016, political leaders in the district especially those who want Mbabazi to stand against Museveni have been harassing me,” said a tearful Karabareme.

However, Kayihura assured him of security for his life and businesses before directing the regional police commander Olivia Rosemary Wawire to give him six police officers who will guard his drug shop, mobile money shops and the scene of the fire.

Kayihura also directed Charles Kataratambi to bring a team of forensic experts from the police analytical laboratory to deepen investigations into the incident.

Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi maintains he will not stand against Museveni in 2016 but the President’s strategists are concerned the powerful party Secretary General is not telling the whole truth.

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