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Police seizes 35 guns in murder probe

Early yesterday morning, the Police carried out a huge cordon-and-search operation in Kyaliwajjala and seized guns from security operatives and guards as it heightened investigations into the murder of Send-a-Cow manager Samwiri Naswaali.

Up to 35 guns, mainly 303 and SAR rifles were seized and taken to Jinja Road Police Station in the massive operation that got underway at 4:00am and went on till 7:45am. The firearms are to be subjected to tests by ballistic experts.

Hundreds of regular police, backed by operatives of the Violent Crime Crack Unit (VCCU), an arm of the police tasked with curbing violent crime in the country, flooded the area and threw in place a series of snap check-points.

The combined force that combed the area in search of anything that could have been abandoned by the fleeing gunmen, was commanded by Kampala Police chief, Benson Oyo Nyeko, backed by VCCU boss David Magara.

Godfrey Bangirana, the Commissioner of Operations at the police headquarters, oversaw the operation.

Naswaali, a financial manager and team leader of the charity, was gunned down at his Mbalwa village residence by the thugs shortly after hosting guests to a farewell party in honour of his daughter Eunice Naswaali who was supposed to have flown to the US for studies on Monday.

But what was supposed to have been a happy farewell for both the family and Eunice suddenly took a tragic twist following the shooting.

Speaking at the funeral service for the deceased at All Saints Cathedral in Kampala, Francis Osire, a youth worker at the church who delivered the sermon and Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire, an in-law to the deceased, called on the government to put in place a gun policy to curb gun violence and stop the disturbing wave of murders.

In the operation, check points were erected on the Mbalwa-Kireka and Mbalwa-Namugongo roads and other auxiliary roads. Motorists heading to the city for work in the morning were surprised when the Police waved them down and searched their vehicles.

Many private security guards returning from duty had their guns confiscated. Those who declined were ferried to Jinja Road Police Station.

Wilson Kwanya, the Police boss at the Jinja Road Police Station, which is in charge of the area, said the seized firearms were part of a normal Police operation and referred The New Vision to Nyeko for any comment.

Nyeko said they were searching for clues and targeted security operatives and guards in a bid to identify the gun used in the murder.

Pheobe Kituyi, a granddaughter of the deceased, who saw the thugs on the ill-fated Sunday night, on Monday told the Police that the gunmen were armed with a gun “like that normally carried by LDUs”, which suggests an AK47 rifle or a .32 rifle.

Private security guards from different firms camped at Jinja Road Police Station trying to reclaim their firearms, which the Police said were being verified.