Uganda Police Force (UPF) has spoken out on why Patrick Kashaija Agaba alias Pato is a major suspect in the death of Susan Magara, saying his conduct during the time when she was kidnapped and after the murder were suspicious.
Pato, a wanted Ugandan fugitive, was arrested on the 7 March, 2018, by members of Interpol South Africa, Crime Intelligence and the National Investigation Unit at his residential address in Midrand, South Africa.
He was handed over to a special team of detectives from Uganda who transported him to Uganda on 15 May, 2019 before taking him into police custody, for further interrogation.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga on Thursday said Pato “was highly suspected to be the person behind the voice recorded, during the phone negotiations, over the USD 1M ransom, and the advance payment of USD200,000, that was effected on the 24, February, 2018, which formed the basis of the police chief Gen kale Kayihura’s request then.”
In addition, said Enanga, Pato’s conduct towards the end of the ordeal was very suspicious, when on the 13 February, 2018, he applied for a Visa to South Africa, with a flight plan for 16, February, 2018.
“Instead, he left Entebbe International Airport, on 17, February, 2018, for Harare, through Nairobi, where, he however, stopped and falsely declared to the immigration officials, how he was returning to Uganda, from Accra, Ghana,” said Enanga.
He returned to Uganda on the same day and thereafter, travelled by road, through Botswana to South Africa on 24, February, 2018.
“Coincidentally, on the same date, the advance ransom payment was delivered to the perpetrators,” said Enanga.
Magara was killed and her body dumped a few metres from the main road at Kitiko between Kigo and Kajjansi along the Entebbe Express Highway.
The brutal killing not only shocked the nation but also raised concerns about the increased criminality in the country.
The thugs, who were using local telephone lines, had the audacity to hide Magara for almost three weeks without being tracked by security services.
Enanga today said Pato possessed two passports; Number B0661869 which was valid until 3/03/2018, in the name of Agaba Patrick, and Number B1177225 which was valid till 19/01/2025 in the names of Kasaija Patrick.
The law enforcement publicist praised the Directorate of Interpol and International Relations, which initiated an international fugitive investigation with support from the offices of the Inspector General of Police and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.
“They further coordinated closely with the Prosecutors Office and Law Enforcement Personnel in South Africa, who helped in the location and arrest of the suspect. And on the 25/03/2019, the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services signed an extradition order, for the return of the suspect to Uganda from South Africa,” said Enanga.
He said Pato is still presumed innocent until proven beyond reasonable doubt before the courts of law.
“In the meantime, his case file is being processed for the attention of the DPP, who upon perusal will determine whether to jointly charge him with the eight other accused persons already committed to the High Court or not,” he emphasised.