Seven Unresolved Deaths Involving Top Soldiers Since 2007

  • by Steven Mwesigye
  • September 10, 2018

Although there have been a number of deaths by shooting, iron bars among other suspicious deaths, we look back at the most talked about since 2007-2018 involving senior UPDF and Police officers including Muhammad Kirumira, the latest victim of shooting.

Gen Aronda Nyakairima

Aronda Nyakairima (7 July 1959 – 12 September 2015) was a Ugandan army officer who served in the cabinet of Uganda as minister of internal affairs from 2013 until his death on 11 September 2015. Previously, he served as the chief of defence forces in the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) from 2003 to 2013.

Aronda died in 2015 aboard a flight from South Korea to Uganda. Initial reports said he died of cardiac arrest on transit to Dubai from South Korea.

According to ministry officials then, Gen Nyakairima had traveled on official duty and was in a healthy condition.

Brig Noble Mayombo

Brigadier Nobel Mayombo, sometimes spelled as Noble Mayombo, (1965–2007), was a Ugandan military officer, lawyer and legislator.

He was born in Kabarole District, Toro sub-region, Western Uganda, in 1965. He belonged to the Babiito Royal Clan in the Kingdom of Toro, one of the four constitutional monarchies in modern-day Uganda. His father, Canon James Rwabwoni, born in 1926, was still alive in 2007. He died in a South African hospital on 25 December 2009. Mayombo was the seventh born out of twelve children. Their mother, the late Beatrice Rwaboni Abwooli, died in 1997.

Regarded as one of the most influential military officers of his time, the sudden illness and death of Brigadier Mayombo shocked most who learned of the news.

Speculation that there might have been foul play involved in his death caused the Ugandan Government to launch an investigation into his sudden death.[16] The three-person team that carried out the investigation included: Dr. Peter Mugenyi, Director of the Joint Clinical Research Center, as the chairman Maj Gen James Mugira, Commander, UPDF Tank Unit and   Lieutenant Tagaswire Rusoke, a biochemist in the UPDF. The team concluded their investigation and handed their report to President Museveni in November 2007. As of now, the detailed findings of that probe have never been publicised.

AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi

The shock murder of Assistant Inspector General of Police, Andrew Felix Kaweesi in March 2017 is the biggest news story of the year so far and will, quite possibly, rank alongside Kazini’s death as one of those unforgettable murder horror stories in Ugandan history.

With social media now increasingly becoming as mainstream as traditional media, the general view within hours of Kaweesi’s murder was that this had to be either a state assassination or a murder by some mafia-like faction within the state.

The reason for this was the calm and bold manner in which Kaweesi and two of his police aides were killed.
The killers seemed to have all the time at the scene and did not appear to fear that the longer they hanged around, the more likely they might get surrounded and arrested.

It is this confidence and calm that led many Ugandans to conclude that this was no ordinary armed crime but most likely was a political killing.

ASP Muhammad Kirumira

The latest victim of the recent wave of murders by assailants riding on motorcycles, Kirumira alongside a female friend were shot in Bulenga, Wakiso District, on Saturday evening by two assailants travelling on a motorcycle. The friend Resty Nalinya, died on the spot while Kirumira succumbed to injuries at Rubaga Hospital about an hour later.

Born on May 20, 1983, Kirumira is survived by a widow and four children.
Many Ugandans wondered why people would kill a man who was known for fighting crime during his different assignments as a police officer.

He had indicated he was no longer interested in serving in the police, indicating that he would join elective politics.

Maj Muhammad Kiggundu

Maj Kiggundu with then wife Mama Fina

One of the former commanders of the rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), Maj Kiggundu was shot dead in 2016 by gunmen, also riding on motorcycles.

Aged 52 years at the time of his death, Kiggundu was killed at Masanafu, a Kampala suburb. His bodyguard, Sgt. Steven Mukasa was also shot dead. The two were driving to the city in a UPDF pick-up truck on a Saturday at about 7:30 am.

His killing was linked to the ADF rebel group which he had denounced before he was integrated into the UPDF and promoted to the rank of Major in December 2007. Maj Kiggundu was the husband of renowned traditional herbalist Sylvia Namutebi aka Maama Fiina. She has since moved on and found herself another man.

Col Ibrahim Abiriga

The immediate former Arua Municipality MP Col Ibrahim Abiriga was a known enthusiast of the ruling National Resistance Movement – NRM Party was killed in June this year in Kawanda, along the Kampala-Gulu Highway.

Reports indicate that Abiriga’s vehicle, a yellow beetle was intercepted by two men, riding on a motorcycle. He died together with his brother Saidi Butele Kongo in a shooting near Energo fuel station in Kawanda, just close to his home. His last public appearance was at the presentation of the State of The Nation Address two days apart, in his trademark yellow Kaunda suit matched with yellow shoes.

Abiriga, a former rebel leader died at the age of 62 and he was a retired UPDF officer having retired at the rank of colonel.

His killers have not been arrested, based on the just concluded state of the nation address by the president on Sunday.

Maj Gen James Kazini

Maj Gen James Kazini

The gruesome death of the former army commander Maj Gen James Kazini in 2009 was one of the most shocking and most discussed news stories of the last 10 years.

He was killed at the home in Nawuwongo, Kampala, of his mistress Lydia Draru shortly before he was to have left on a trip to South Sudan.

Draru was sentenced to 14 years in jail as the prime suspect for his murder, although there are very few Ugandans to this day who believe Draru had the ability to overcome Kazini and beat him to the extent of totally disfiguring him.

To this day, the overwhelming unofficial public view is that Kazini was eliminated by the state or some elements in the state.