Police Constable Ivan Wabwire, a key suspect in the fatal shooting of a moneylender of Indian descent at Raja Chambers on Parliamentary Avenue in Kampala last Friday, has been arrested.
He was arrested yesterday while fleeing to neighbouring Kenya through the Busia border.
At the time of his arrest by operatives of Flying Squad and Crime Intelligence-led commanded by the Busia District Police Commander, Mr Didas Byaruhanga, Mr Wabwire had reportedly been making phone calls to a female companion he was expected to meet at the Busia-Kenya County Stadium.
Mr Wabwire, 30, is said to have walked into TFS Financial Services and shot Mr Uttam Bhandari, who was the director, multiple times before fleeing the scene.
At about 12:30 pm yesterday, Mr Wabwire was taken out of Busia Police Station through the back door to a waiting white police double cabin truck and driven amid tight security to Kampala where he committed the offence.
A source in Kenya, who witnessed Mr Wabwire’s arrest, said upon seeing the Police, who were in plain clothes, he attempted to escape, but they (The police) made a chase and arrested him. He was arrested three kilometres into Kenya.
Shortly after, Mr Wabwire, who was clad in a red T-shirt, black trousers, and sandals, was taken to Busia-Kenya Police Station and then transferred to Busia Police Station on the Uganda side.
Mr Byaruhanga, however, declined to comment on the arrest, saying: “I’m under instructions from my bosses in Kampala not to allow any journalist to take photos of the suspect because this is a matter for Kampala.”
Mr Patrick Onyango, the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, said: “Mr Wabwire was arrested today (Sunday) at around 7 am in Busia-Kenya, and has been brought to Central Police Station in Kampala.”
How he planned his escape
According to sources, after the shooting, Mr Wabwire walked to the Central Police Station in Kampala where he handed over the AK-47 assault rifle, which is said to be the murder weapon, before disrobing himself of the police uniform.
He left the police station and used a boda boda up to the Bweyogerere taxi stage on the Kampala-Jinja highway. At the scene, he boarded a taxi to Jinja City.
While in Jinja, he is said to have gone to Walukuba, a Jinja City suburb, where he met his sister who is said to have given him transport to travel to Busia, his home district.
From Jinja, Mr Wabwire travelled by motorcycle to Musita Stage on the Iganga-Jinja Highway. He boarded a truck and travelled through Mayuge, Nankoma, Namayingo, and Lumino and eventually ended up in Busia Town.
While there, he attempted to cross into Kenya twice and back to Arubaine Village in Busia, where he spent some time.
How he was tracked
Sources privy to the investigations said the suspect was tracked through his girlfriend who resides on Tira Road in Busia Town, to whom he made a phone call shortly after committing the alleged crime and planned his escape.
Sources added that detectives first arrested the girlfriend, but shortly after, Mr Wabwire switched off his phones after suspecting that their conversation was being tapped.
Subsequently, a security team spent the whole of Saturday combing parts of Busia Town and Bumunji Village, Masinya Sub-county, the suspect’s home area.
Investigators say it was at dawn when the suspect switched on his phone and made a call to the girlfriend, before asking her to engage him on the phone until they cornered him at the Busia-Kenya County Stadium.
The investigators then moved across the border with the help of their Kenyan counterparts at around 3 am on Sunday and waited until around 6 am to make the arrest.
Mr Wabwire allegedly shot Bhadhari following a disagreement on his outstanding loan amount.
Mr Wabwire’s housemate, Mr Steven Mulambo, has been arrested for assisting in the investigations since Mr Wabwire allegedly used his gun to shoot the moneylender.
Meanwhile, Uganda Microfinance Regulatory Authority in a statement last evening, condemned Mr Wabwire’s actions and notified the public that there are avenues to address complaints related to borrowing and lending money.