Tomorrow, June 8 will mark exactly one year since Arua Municipality MP, Col Ibrahim Abiriga was gruesomely murdered in a volley of ammunitions. However, his death has remained a puzzle, with no leads or arrests made by police.
Abiriga was killed alongside his driver-cum bodyguard, Saidi Butele Kongo, near his home in Kawanda, Wakiso district. Top security officials thronged his murder scene giving hope that his killers would perhaps be arrested as soon as possible. But that hope seems to have faded, as time passes.
At the release of the 2018 Crime Report last month, the inspector general of police (IGP) Martins Okoth Ochola said that the police had arrested several suspects in heinous crimes committed last year except in the case of Abiriga.
Ochola cited Abiriga’s assassination among other high profile murders that shaped 2018. The others were the kidnap and murder of Susan Magara and 15 others, the killing of Buyende district police commander ASP Mohammad Kirumira and Dr Ibrahim Gwaluka, who according to the IGP, were all killed by an organised gang of criminals.
“We are however happy to note that the criminals involved in these acts have been arrested and committed to High court for trial, save for the case of Hon Abiriga Ibrahim,” Ochola said.
Abiriga was famous for among other reasons, his love yellow, the signature colour of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party and President Museveni. Abiriga wore yellow shoes, yellow stockings, suits, yellow necktie, yellow shirts, yellow t-shirts and drove a yellow beetle.
A local television visited his home in Kawanda about five months before he was killed and found yellow cups, yellow plates, yellow blankets and yellow bedsheets. Besides, Abiriga was loved for his high sense of humour. He cracked jokes with both the young and adults. MPs and journalists who often interacted with him at parliament, described him as somebody who never despised anyone.
Residents of Kawanda spoke about him as philanthropist who shared the little he had with neighbours including buying food for women abandoned by their husbands in rented houses. Locals said he often moved with tins of sweets which he would serve to children he met on his way home. Abiriga was among the first MPs to propose the removal of article 102(b) that capped presidential age between 35 and 75.