Kampala – New details have emerged about the murder of Indian businessman Uttam Bhandari at Raja Chambers on Parliamentary Avenue last week.
Bhandari, who was the Director TFS financial services was allegedly shot dead by Police Constable Ivan Wabwire last week on Friday
New revelation by police indicate that the incident happened at 10:30 am but it took about two hours for it to be reported to police allowing the killer officer to escape.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga, says according to preliminary findings, the suspect was mental stable at the time of the incident and his actions were deliberate, planned and premeditated.
Addressing a security press briefing at police headquarters in Kampala on Monday, Enanga said;
“…. on the 11th of May, the suspect while in civilian clothes met with Mr. Uttam to establish his loan status and further discussion plans on how to trade it off for a salary loan at Stanbic bank Williams Street Branch where his salary is posted. There was no agreement between him and the director of TSF. This is an officer who had acquired a double loan. He acquired a loan on the 5th of August 2020 of Shs 1 million with an interest of Shs 320,000 so he was supposed to pay shs110,000 per month for 1 year. Before he could even complete that loan again on the 5th of May 2021, he acquired a second loan of 1 million on similar terms but he defaulted after a period of 3 months.
So, when they failed to agree on the trade off with Mr. Bhandari, the following day on 12th of May, the suspect in his full uniform picked a rifle with four magazines left his beat at CPS and went straight to meet the Director at Raja Chambers, he even signed in the visitors book very confident and went straight to meet Bhandari but while in the office he even didn’t sit down. He remained in a standing position with his hand on the gun and after a short verbal exchange with the director he cocked his gun, shot the victim and then moved out.
Shortly he realised that he had left his phones behind so that’s when he returned and while picking his loan form indicating his loan balance, he noticed that the Indian victim was still breathing so he fired additional shots and killed him instantly. His target was the victim and no one else.
.. and after the deadly shooting, the suspect confidently moved out, jumped on a boda boda which dropped him at CPS, he returned the gun to the office of the Scene of Crime Officer and asked him to watch over it that he would come back and pick it. So up to this stage there was no suspicion because there was no report that was received. I think all the staff in the office and everybody scampered for their dear life. It’s unfortunate that there was no quick reaction or thoughtful attention regarding the conduct of the officer before during and after the shooting.
He managed to escape to his village at Bwalila in Bumambo parish in Busia district and our flying squad teams with KMP and the DPC Busia managed to intercept him while trying to cross into Kenya. We want to thank the arresting teams for a job well done.
At the time of arrest, the suspect was in very good shape and he was very sound. We transferred him to KMP headquarters and upon interrogation he didn’t appear remorseful at all. Not even saying sorry for what he did. He admitted to having murdered the victim for allegedly cheating him on his loan portfolio. We have even taken him to the magistrate for an extra judicial statement. We have so far examined him; the surgeons examined him and they found that he’s very normal and sound. After the extra judicial statement, we are going to have a psychiatrist to also examine his mental condition.
It‘s true that the tragic murder could have been avoided if the owner of the killer weapon that’s PC Stephen Mulomba had not left it unattended to in the room that he shared with PC Ivan Wabwire and as our force policy on use of fire arms demands he should have returned this gun to the Armory before moving out of the station but without lawful permission he sneaked out of the station to attend to a personal matter which is an outright case of gross indiscipline and negligence. As a result, he has also been charged in the disciplinary court and dismissed from the force this morning. He is now a civilian and is going to be taken to the criminal court for negligence of duties as a civilian.
To all Ugandans and visitors in the country we pledge to continue working hard to maintain and improve your trust as before in an effort to increase transparency, accountability, professionalism and community safety. We have issued very stringent guidelines on gun handling and use of force to all our officers and we are now identifying police officers for refresher courses on gun handling, scenario-based exercises, anger management the de-escalation techniques so we believe these initiatives will help improve public trust and confidence and even promote better gun handling skills and improve Community safety in the public.