Why were Gen Katumba Wamala’s bodyguards missing? Army puzzled

Assassination attempt on Gen Katumba Wamala: Daughter, driver killed
Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala

Kampala, Uganda | URN | The Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) is puzzled over the whereabouts of the bodyguards of General Katumba Wamala, the former army commander and Works and Transport Minister, who was shot at on Tuesday 1, June 2021 morning.

Unidentified gunmen riding on motorcycles intercepted Gen. Katumba Wamala’s vehicle registration number H4DF 2138 at around 8:47am – 8:58am along the Kisota-Kulambiro road, Nakawa Division in the Kampala District and sprayed it with bullets killing his daughter, Brenda Wamala Nantongo 32, and driver, Haruna Kayondo on the spot.

Gen. Katumba Wamala sustained two gunshot wounds in his shoulders and was rushed to Malcolm Hospital in Kisaasi for treatment before being transferred to Medipal International Hospital where he is at the moment. His condition is now stabilized.

However, the military is now puzzled that at least three of the bodyguards assigned to Gen Wamala were not with him.

The Spokesperson for UPDF/ Ministry of Defense and Veteran Affairs, Brigadier Flavia Byekwaso notes that as a former Chief of Defense Forces and by virtue of his rank, General Katumba Wamala must have not less than four bodyguards at any time.

Brig Flavia Byekwaso the UPDF spokesperson

But eye witnesses at the scene said that the four-star general had only one escort identified as SGT Khalid Koboyoit who survived with no injuries moved with him on a motorcycle to Malcom International Hospital for first aid when the time the unfortunate incident occurred.

Assassination attempt on Gen Katumba Wamala: Daughter, driver killed
This picture taken on 1st June 2021, shows Gen Katumba Wamala’s vehicle riddled with bullets, just after an attempt on his life. COURTESY PHOTO

Byekwaso adds that as the army, they cannot yet tell why the rest of his escorts (bodyguards) were not with him and it is only Gen. Katumba Wamala who can explain why at that particular time he chose to move with only one.

People who have known Gen. Katumba Wamala for long say he is not a man who is used to moving with escorts and convoys. They describe him as a man who is used to moving with only one vehicle despite the fact that he has held a number of high profile and sensitive positions in government which would attract threats.

On December, 19, 2017, General Katumba Wamala in a tweet making rounds on social media dared those who wanted to attack him. It was in response to former Member of Parliament Ondonga Otto who said while appearing on one of the local televisions that Gen. Katumba Wamala had punched the Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake and that when the regime changes they were to go for him because they knew his families, children and gardens.

In response Gen. Katumba Wamala tweeted “My home is plot 11 Lugogo Channel and I have no guards. If he wants to use Kaweesi style my vehicle number is UG 1626W. He doesn’t have to wait for regime change.”

The Kaweesi style Gen. Katumba Wamala was referring to happened on March 17th, 2017 when assailants moving on motorcycles gruesomely shot dead the former Spokesperson of Uganda Police Force Andrew Felix Kaweesi, his bodyguard Kenneth Erau and driver Godfrey Mambewa.

The shooting also similarly took place in Kulambiro in Kisaasi, Nakawa Division in Kampala city.

Gen. Katumba Wamala: I will be fine

General Edward Katumba Wamala has assured his family and friends that he is in safe hands following a botched attempt on his life this morning.

In a video message recorded on from his sickbed at Medipal International hospital where he is being treated for gunshot wounds on his shoulders, Gen. Katumba assures his children that he will be fine.

General Katumba explained that God has given him a second chance, saying that he will pull through, adding that he didn’t suffer grave injuries.

The former Works and Transport Minister survived an assassination attempt when unknown gunmen riding on motorcycles intercepted his vehicle registration number H4DF 2138 along Kisaasi-Kisota road in Kisaasi, a Kampala suburb.

Eyewitness shot while recording Gen Katumba failed assassination attempt
This picture taken on 1st June 2021, shows Gen Katumba Wamala’s vehicle riddled with bullets, just after an attempt on his life. COURTESY PHOTO

The bullets caught Gen. Katumba’s daughter, Brenda Nantongo Wamala and driver, Haruna Kayondo killing them on the spot. Gen. Katumba escaped with gunshot wounds on both of his shoulders.

The gunmen also reportedly shot and injured an unidentified eyewitness who was recording the incident from a neighboring storied building, according to Isaac Kawonawo, the Wakiso Deputy Resident District Commissioner in Charge of Kiira Municipality.

Uganda Police Force has appealed for witnesses and anyone with surveilance videos to contact Kira Road Police on 0714667787 or 0714667789.