It is now known that Gen Katumba Wamala attackers were members of rebel/terrorist outfit Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). The same people were behind the murder of AIGP Andrew Kaweesi and Maj Muhammad Kiggundu.
Intelligence sources told Pepper that this group of hitmen largely consisting of ADF remnants who some had been granted amnesty while others sneaked into the country, has metamorphosed into mercenaries now available for hire—it is no longer the ADF that attacks markets, taxi car parks, schools and security installations.
They are now hired by businessmen, individuals, organizations, Geo-political actors, State enemies and others for diverse reasons. Security is aware that ADF cells are within Kampala and active, a reason when their former leader Jamil Mukulu is appearing in court thousands and thousands of soldiers are poured onto the streets—this group has the capacity to mobilise and overrun court security and take away Mukulu. He now appears via video link.
They have got various operational bases and are hired by anybody who has the capacity. And for them, once shown the target and their money is paid they will affect the murder and return to their bases. They are well organised and work for money. They have got commanders who receive missions and brief them.
“It is highly likely that the killers don’t even know the people who procure the murders,” a security source said. “The people who pull the trigger just receive an assignment.”
What is not known is who the paymasters are? Who sponsors these killings? And what is the motive? And how long will it take before this sponsor is crushed?
Intelligence has picked up leads that this group is mostly hired by Uganda’s enemy whose country of origin is not clear. He could be a Ugandan or from the region (East Africa Great Lakes, Africa) or outside Africa—for security purposes ‘if you know you know, is a common word nowadays. He is hell-bent on influencing the course of politics in the region. This enemy cannot be apprehended because he is untouchable and unreachable.
To reach him, you will do it at a high cost—resources and lives have to be lost. He is so powerful and cannot be arrested. Intelligence sources say he may not be in the country. But he has the capacity to arm-twist some rogue security officers here to work for him— hence an acronym People in Government Security (PIGS). He has deeply penetrated ADF cells and they just bow to him because of his financial power.
He has the capacity to train and equip them with an arsenal of weapons not limited to powerful guns and even poison.
His motive is purely political in nature and to achieve this, according to analysts, is to hit the nerve centre of Uganda—security. He is not interested in attacking army barracks or police stations (maybe for now) but key and high ranking individuals of Gen Katumba stature. He wants to bring the war to you. In doing so, he hampers foreign investment and discourages tourism. These actions also bring about despondence within the population and even among junior army officers. In turn, this also emboldens radical opposition elements in political body fabric to operate freely and on a good day, a rebellion or an uprising or a coup can topple the government. Katumba may not be the only target but a spoke in the wheel, implying there could be other potential targets like before—his attack is just a microcosm.
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In carrying out these attacks in broad daylight, this paymaster also wants to embarrass and show off to the public that “look we can do anything with impunity and get off. You have no capacity over us.” This explains why the security investigating this line cannot ignore this clue and are trying to locate cells that are spread across. Analysts say the 2021 gift security can give Ugandans is to intensify operations targeting all ADF terror cells and parade all terrorists for everyone to see using its PR machinery and this will send a signal to the paymasters of the attacks.
This conviction has been buttressed by an ISO intelligence report of 2019 then under Col Frank Kaka Bagyenda. The report, which was presented to the authorities for discussion and possible action analyzed the “Threats and Consequences of Terrorist Acts in Urban Setting [urban terrorism] posed by members of Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).”
The report highlighted security challenges that Uganda was likely to face. The report further highlighted the active presence of ADF terror cells around the country and most especially within Kampala.
For years now several people including sheikhs, Maj. Kiggundu, Joan Kagezi, AIGP Felix Kaweesi, Col. Abiriga, and recently Kirumira have all been killed in the same fashion. Like a serial killer, four assassins move on sports/ Boxer Bajaj bikes- usually, two in number, wearing hoods and jackets and trail their victim to an exact spot they want and then strike with so much force with so many bullets that the victim dies instantly at the scene.
They kill in the early evening or early morning. They don’t take anything from their victims. It is only in the Katumba incident that the principal target survived but two people lost their lives.
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Before leaving the scene they fire warning bullets as they get away. But they are so careful members of the public don’t get hurt. It is also in the Katumba incident that an eyewitness was hit in the leg. They usually confuse directions before vanishing in thin air. In all the incidents, police respond when they are already gone.