Two assailants, riding on a red numberless sportbike fired warning shots that sent residents into hiding. That turned out to be there way of clearing the scene of any onlookers, as they closed in on their target, former Buyende District Police Commander Mohammed Kirumira.
Eyewitnesses say the continuous gunfire forced motorists out of their vehicles as they scampered for safety. Motorcyclists also abandoned the motorbikes on the nearby stage and hid in the neighborhoods. A few brave ones kept an eye on the two strangers that had sent the entire village into panic.
The hind tyre of Kirumira’s car, a Toyota Corona registration number UAJ 228V was shot first. Kirumira, who was dressed in a traditional tunic, tried to get out of the car. However, even the assailants had closed in on him. One of them jumped off the motorbike and shot Kirumira at close range, and afterwards turned to the co-driver’s seat where one of Kirumira’s female friends was seated. The female friend has since been identified as Resty Nalinya. She had initially been thought to be Kirumira’s wife.
Another eyewitness said that after the shooting, the assassins drove for about 100 meters towards Kampala, but suddenly made a U-turn firing several rounds in the air. He says that as assassins sped off towards Mityana, Bodaboda riders started trailing them while buzzing and hooting. But the assassins aimed the guns at the cyclists forcing them to back off, a break that gave them an opportunity to disappear.
Kirumira had already breathed his last, the eyewitness says. His body was put in a taxi with the help of boda boda riders at Bulenga stage and taken to Lubaga Hospital. The woman, who was still alive, was put in a different vehicle to the same facility.
At about 10PM, at least two hours after the shooting, a considerable number of residents had gathered around the vehicle struggling to have a glimpse at the blood stained vehicle.
President Museveni who was returning form Naalya where he was chief guest at the premiering of the 27 Guns Movie also arrived at the scene a few minutes to midnight. He took with him two eye witnesses to State House.
But according to the residents, although Bulenga Police Station is a stone throw away from the scene of the crime, it took police officers more than an hour to respond to the tragedy. Led by Irene Birabwa, The Officer-In-Charge of Bulenga Police Station, the officers arrived at the scene at 9:40 p.m. and could hardly control the emotion and anger filled the crowd.
More police and army officers later arrived at around 10 p.m. cordoning off the scene of the crime. But the enraged residents pelted stones at the security personnel accusing them of delaying to respond to a catastrophe in their area. Police used tear gas and live bullets to disperse the crowd.
In the ensuing moments, three journalists two of whom are from CBS and NBS Television were injured and rushed to nearby clinics.
Moses Kaddu, one of the residents said that Kirumira was heading home after attending a party in Sseguku along Entebbe road, where one of his friends was celebrating victory from the recent local council elections.
Kaddu narrates that from the function the police officer reached his home, situated about 2 kilometres from his eventual death spot but drove back to drop off a female friend. He adds that the duo had stopped to grab a drink from one of the shops in the area, when the killers struck.
Kirumira’s final Message to the Media
Hours before he was murdered, Kirumira had sent an audio congratulating Uganda Journalists Association – UJA for the successful election of their new executive.
He also re-echoed his earlier message that within the media circles there are unscrupulous people spying on others and involving in several dubious deals for selfish gains. He asked the new UJA leadership to keep guard of such people and always agitate for a free press.
Concluding his WhatsApp voice note, Kirumira strongly pointed out that he was still sticking to his values until God calls him.
Kirumira has for long said that unknown people trailed him together with his wife.