Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | Just four days ago, an incident of theft transpired in Uganda’s capital Kampala that involved a Chinese national discharging a firearm indiscriminately on Martin Road. This occurrence prompted a chaotic scramble as people sought safety. Preliminary inquiries conducted by the Crime Intelligence (CI) division have shed light on the underlying circumstances that led to this shooting incident.
It has come to light that Mr. Lee Shao resorted to using his firearm after a gang of thieves on motorcycles forcefully deprived him of his bag, which contained a substantial amount of money.
Lee, recounting the distressing ordeal to the authorities at Kampala Central Police Station (CPS) and CI detectives, stated, “I had 200 million shillings in my bag and I was using a boda boda when a group of men attacked me and took my money. I was confused and I remembered to shoot them when they had fled the scene.”
Luke Owoyesigyire, the Deputy Spokesperson for the Kampala Metropolitan Police, confirmed that the police are currently investigating the case involving the theft of Shs 200 million. He emphasized that numerous individuals, particularly foreigners, have fallen prey to criminals due to carrying substantial sums of money without adequate security precautions.
“We have exhibited the gun and also recorded his statement. The crime intelligence team is searching for the robbers. We, however, want to use this incident to warn people against carrying such an amount of money without enough security,” Owoyesigyire said.
In a similar incident that occurred back in September, a Japanese expert by the name of Ito Okira tragically lost his life after being assaulted by individuals wearing NRM party t-shirts. This incident took place during President Yoweri Museveni’s 79th birthday celebrations, garnering significant attention on social media.
Ito had been engaged by the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to enhance road junctions with the objective of alleviating traffic congestion. Thieves managed to access his bag, which contained money, situated behind his car seat at Centenary Park. In an attempt to recover his belongings, Ito confronted the thieves, who assailed him with a blunt object. Subsequently, he fell into a coma and succumbed to his injuries three weeks later.
Owoyesigyire mentioned that efforts are currently underway to identify the motorcycles used by the robbers who targeted Lee. Similar to the case involving Ito, Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) footage will be employed to gather information about the culprits.
While the initial charges against Ito’s attackers were initially related to aggravated robbery, these charges were later revised to include murder following his tragic passing.