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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Hindu man Uttam Bhandari shot dead by cop in Uganda

A 39-year-old Indian money lender has been allegedly shot dead by a policeman over a 2.1 million shillings (Rs 46,000) loan in Kampala, Ugandan media reports said.

Police constable Ivan Wabwire, 30, who has been arrested, opened fire with an AK-47 at Uttam Bhandari inside Raja Chambers along Parliamentary Avenue in Kampala on May 12, according to the Kampala Metropolitan Police.

The Police Flying Squad Unit and the local police in Busia arrested Wabwire on May 14 as he tried to cross to neighbouring Kenya, Kampala-based newspaper Daily Monitor, reported.

According to the police, Bhandari was the director of TFS financial services and Wabwire a client. The two met and developed a misunderstanding about the amount of money the cop owed to the firm.

Wabwire has reportedly been servicing two loans since 2020.

The first loan was deducted directly from his salary, while the second one was not, Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson, Patrick Onyango said.

When he was told the loan repayment amount on May 12 for the second loan, he got incensed and reportedly started arguing, dismissing the figure claiming that it was inflated.

“One of the workers who was inside said the officer first shot at the CCTV cameras inside the office. Everybody who was inside took off. We still don’t know what happened thereafter. We have called our CCTV team to come and retrieve the footage and analyse to see what happened,” Onyango told Daily Monitor.

He added that after shooting, Wabwire jumped on a boda boda bike and rushed to Central Police Station in Kampala where he abandoned his murder weapon, an AK-47, and fled.

Detectives who visited the gunfire scene in the aftermath of the shooting recovered 13 cartridges.

Police further said that Wabwire has a history of mental instability and he was banned in 2018 from possessing a firearm for six years after being admitted to a hospital twice over the mental breakdown.

Wabwire, who is now being held at Busia police station in eastern Uganda, stole the gun from a fellow policeman and roommate, Steven Mulambo, also in police custody.

Bhandari’s body has been kept at Mulago city mortuary as investigations continue.

Meanwhile, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Geoffrey Tumusiime Katsigazi, met the Indian community in Uganda and assured them of their safety and security, according to online news portal, Nile Post.

Uganda has seen a spurt in gun violence in the month of May alone with outspoken vlogger Ibrahim Tusubira alias Jjaja Iculi shot dead with multiple pistol gunshots in the capital on May 6.

A 26-year-old private security guard Peter Ochoroi shot and killed his colleague on May 13 over a disagreement.

On May 2, a bodyguard rained at least 28 gunshots on his boss, Charles Engola, a state minister for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)

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