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Security raid home, re-arrest Kaweesi murder suspect Sheikh Nyanzi

Drone at Sheikh Yusuf Nyanzi's home

Drone at Sheikh Yusuf Nyanzi's home

Operatives believed to be from the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) yesterday Wednesday raided the home of Sheikh Yusuf Nyanzi, one of the suspects in the 2017 murder of former police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi.

Kaweesi, his bodyguards Kenneth Erau and driver, Godfrey Mambewa were gunned down on March 17, 2017, a few kilometres from his home in Kisaasi, a Kampala suburb. Yesterday operatives raided and searched Nyanzi’s home in Kyanja, Kisaasi in Nakawa Division. Nyanzi had been arrested earlier on Tuesday morning for unknown reasons.   

Nyanzi has been out on bail following his release on September 11, 2019, by the then International Crimes Division judge, Lydia Mugambe.  

Nyanzi was first arrested in 2017 for the alleged assassination of Kaweesi, bodyguard Erau and driver Mambewa. Earlier, he was also charged with the similar style murder of Major Muhammad Kiggundu and his bodyguard Sgt. Steven Mukasa on November 26, 2016.

Nyanzi spent several months on remand until he applied for bail through his lawyers from Wameli and Company Advocates, which was granted after numerous applications. Nyanzi has been a free man until his re-arrest on Tuesday morning. His wife, Sumaya Nyanzi, says that unidentified security operatives picked up her husband and 16-year-old son, Abdul Rahim Yusuf Nyanzi in front of their home at around 9 am on Tuesday.

She said that the operatives, who were driving in a white Noah vehicle, sped off to an unknown destination with her husband and son.

On Wednesday morning, our reporter visited Nyanzi’s home and found four plain-clothed armed security operatives guarding the house. Some of the operatives wore Uganda Police Force jackets on top of their plainclothes with black headgears.

An unspecified number of operatives were seen searching the house in the presence of Nyanzi who was brought in a Toyota Hiace vehicle christened 'drone', registration number UAH 694N. Sulaiman Mawejje Salongo, the LC I chairperson Kyanja Central Zone who is also Nyanzi's immediate neighbour also witnessed the search. The search started around 10 am and ended almost at 2 pm.

According to Nyanzi's wife, they searched everywhere in the house starting with the bedrooms up to the ceiling. She claims that they left with her agreement for the sale of gold, sim cards, passport and other court documents belonging to Nyanzi. 

Our reporter has also learnt that the operatives led by detective inspector of police Mathias Nabeeta took two other National IDs registered in the names of unspecified individuals they recovered from the house during the search. As the search was going on, a motorcycle arrived with Rahim.

On seeing the operatives, he fled and hid in a nearby mosque at Kyanja Muslim primary school for fear of being re-arrested. The teenager later told our reporter that he had seen the same vehicle at the safe house where he was taken after being separated from his father who told him that in case he is taken back home, he should inform his mother that he's in the hands of CMI operatives at the Special Investigations Department of Police in Kireka.

Rahim said that for the two days he was in custody, they only gave him a single meal. The teenage bore visible scars on his right cheek, which he says were as a result of the brutal arrest. He also claimed that he found other people in the safe house where he spent a night with rotting legs resulting from torture. 

In the morning, a police officer he couldn’t remember called him out and gave him Shs 10,000 to pay for his boda boda ride back home.

His family says they are living in fear and want the government to release Nyanzi unconditionally. Nyanzi’s arrest comes barely three weeks after the botched assassination of Gen Katumba Wamala, the former chief of defense forces.  

Katumba escaped with two bullets lodged in his arms. However, his daughter, Brendah Nantogo and driver Haruna Kayondo were not lucky and lost their lives in the attack.

Recently police claimed that the killers of the two used the same gun used to kill Maj Kiggundu. Police spokesperson, Fred Enanga declined to comment on Nyanzi’s re-arrest.

“There is nothing much we can discuss in details. I need to consult and find out if they have additional investigations,” he said. 

Nyanzi's lawyer, Geoffrey Turyamusiima was surprised to hear about his re-arrest, saying that he wasn't aware. He promised to follow up and decide their next course of action.

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd