Log in
Updated today

Sheikh Sentamu murder: police chase 3 leads, remain clueless

Police investigators are following three possible leads to the murder of Sheikh Abdul Karim Sentamu two months ago, The Observer has learnt. The prominent Muslim scholar was gunned down on April 20 along William street, moments after he left a mosque on the same road. His death caused outrage in the Muslim community and Police vowed to hunt down the murderers.

Police suspect that Sentamu was still in contact with Jamir Mukulu, the leader of the DR Congo-based Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels; he could, therefore, have been involved in some clandestine activities that led to his killing.

The second line of investigation is that the murder might be linked to Muslim leadership wrangles between the factions of Sheikhs Zubair Kayongo and Ramathan Mubajje. Police have also severally questioned the woman who was with him in the car at the time of the shooting.

Detectives have told The Observer that on the fateful day, Sentamu came out of the mosque, crossed the road, and placed a bag in his car, a Toyota Noah. He then walked back to the mosque.

A video of his last preaching posted on YouTube shows him anxiously looking at his watch as followers posed questions. At one point, he is overheard telling someone “obudde bugenze” (it’s late). He seems to remonstrate that the question, raised by a lady, is the last.  Later, he is seen answering a phone call.

Moments later, Sentamu walked back to his car and placed another bag. He then walked out and stood in front of the car talking to an unidentified man. At this point, the woman, whose identity we are withholding, also emerged from the side of the mosque, crossed over to where Sentamu was. He then opened the co-driver’s door for her.

It is still not clear if the woman had been inside the mosque or not. According to one of the investigators who declined to be named, at the time, the street was deserted save for the trucks that usually pack by the roadside.

It is said that a guard asked Sentamu for some money, which he willingly gave. But as he continued chatting with the unidentified man dressed in Islamic attire, one of the truck drivers requested him to move his car. Sentamu moved his car to the side of the mosque and parked slightly ahead of it.

“This is when the woman in the car asked him to wait a bit for somebody [another woman)] who was coming from Kawempe,” one detective said.

As they waited, a man, also unidentified but wearing a black T-shirt and a headscarf, approached the car from the driver’s side, pulled out a pistol, aimed it at Sentamu and fired two rounds, all through his chest on the right. The murderer then took off.

Unanswered questions

Detectives are now scratching their heads as to the identity of the assailant. How did he know that Sentamu would park in front of the mosque? They are also wondering why one of Mukulu’s blacklisted numbers registered on Sentamu’s call history if he wasn’t part of the ADF?  And if he was, why would they want him dead?

For now, however, the woman who was inside Sentamu’s car at the time of the murder remains a prime suspect. Sources say the woman has been questioned several times, with each round raising her profile as a suspect.

“Investigations are ongoing,” said a reticent Ibin Senkumbi, Kampala Metropolitan police spokesman. “Police is doing all they can to break through the lines of inquiries. Very soon, something big may happen.”

hbogere@observer.ug

Comments are now closed for this entry