Robert Asiimwe, a prime suspect in the murder of Emmanuel Mugarura, a brother of Christian instruction, has opened up to detectives on circumstances under which the latter died.
Mugarura, 46, was a superior general of brothers of St Charles Lwanga locally known as Bakarooli Brothers of Kyotera District.
On July 3, 2019, police arrested Asiimwe after hiring a truck to dispose of Mugarura’s lifeless body which he had covered in tarpaulin.
ChimpReports has learnt that given the high profile nature of the victim and being associated with the powerful Catholic Church, police is giving the case substantial attention.
Upon being arrested, Asiimwe was taken to Special Investigations Department in Kireka, Kampala for intense interrogation.
Officials briefed about the case say Asiimwe, whose tuition was being paid by Mugarura, confessed killing his benefactor.
Asiimwe told interrogators that Mugarura sexually abused him for many years.
“Right from secondary school and now up to University, I was being subjected to sexual abuses because he paid my school fees,” Asiimwe told detectives.
“A time came and the situation was unbearable. He refused to let me go and we fought. That’s how he died,” the suspect confessed.
Asiimwe recounted how Mugarura would severally come to his hostel in Banda for sex.
Deputy Police spokesperson, ACP Polly Namaye said the law enforcement body was yet to rule out the possibility of other people participating in the murder.
“As investigations into this case continue, statements of witnesses are ongoing, including a possibility that the suspect could have had some accomplices,” said Namaye in a statement on Monday.
ChimpReports understands police were yet to hold other suspects in the incident which occurred near Kyambogo University in Kampala off along Jinja Road.
Cases of sexual abuses orchestrated by Catholic Church leaders have been common in recent years.
In 2013, rebellious Rev. Anthony Musaala, a priest in Kampala, was suspended and forced to apologize for raising concerns about his fellow priests engaging in sexual relationships with women, including nuns.
In his dossier, Fr. Musaala alleged sexual abuse among Catholic clergy in Uganda and sought open debate on allowing priests to marry instead of pretending to be celibate.
Fr. Musaala also confessed in the document, to being sodomised at 16 while at the Seminary and implicated colleagues/bishops in having undisclosed children as well as secret children, accusing them of living a hypocritical life and hoodwinking a gullible flock.
“When I was at secondary school, it was common knowledge that various Brothers were having sexual activity with the boys. It was called ‘jaboo’. As a pubescent teenager, my first sexual encounter was actually with one of the brothers who invited me to his room on the pretext of doing some extra chemistry equations. I was sixteen at the time,” said Musaala.
“Later I heard that several others had been through the same thing…with the same Brother and with other ones…Some are still alive to this day.”
He said the public was already aware about “Priests’ secret and not so secret liaisons with girls and women, coerced sex with house-maids, with students, with relatives; priests ‘wives’ set up in well-established homes; priests involved with a parishioner’s wife; of priests romantically involved with religious Sisters; priests offering money for sex, and so on.”
Mother speaks out
Asiimwe’s confession has since gained credence after the deceased’s mother said his son (Mugarura) at one time insisted on sleeping in the same bed with his colleague – Asiimwe.
Janerose Bakeshisha, 77, told mourners in Rukungiri district that her son last visited in Easter. She said Mugarura came along with Asiimwe.
“My son was helping many children but among them he was very close to Robert Asiimwe who was like his real brother. The last time they were here I tried to prepare a separate bed for his visitor but refused saying is his brother they will sleep in his bedroom together,” she said.
A Pennsylvania grand jury last year uncovered decades of sexual abuse and cover-up by Catholic leaders, and Cardinal Theodore McCarrick – formerly the archbishop of Washington, D.C. – was forced to resign amid allegations that he sexually abused adults and minors.
According to Sister Hermenegild Makoro, the secretary-general of South African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SABC), 35 cases of clerical abuse of minors have been reported in South Africa since 2003, but only seven were being investigated by the police.
ChimpReports understands police are uncomfortable discussing the merits of the case considering the political sensitivity of the matter.
Namaye said Police at Jinja Road Police station was “keenly following clues into the murder”, adding, “information that has so far reached the police station points to a pre-meditated crime.”
She said police were investigating claims that after the murder, Asiimwe “proceeded to the parking lot where the victim had left his car in Lubaga and tried to convince the caretaker to let him take the car.”
However, said Namaye, “the caretaker declined insisting that the car would be taken by the very person who had parked it there.”
Asiimwe reportedly convinced the caretaker to talk to the ‘car owner’ on phone, but the voice turned out to be of a different person other than that of Brother Mugarura.
Namaye said sensing danger, the caretaker informed her supervisor with whom they chased after the suspect.
“Credit goes to this caretaker for being vigilant. As investigations into this case continue, statements of witnesses are ongoing, including a possibility that the suspect could have had some accomplices,” said Namaye, adding, “Therefore, we call upon the public to remain vigilant and share with us any helpful information in confidence.”