Gen. Tumukunde

In the past six months, 19 middle-aged women have been killed in gruesome circumstances in Entebbe and the Kampala suburb areas of Nansana and Makindye.

Indeed, currently 13 people are facing murder charges for allegedly killing the women in Nansana, though no tangible evidence seems to be coming from Entebbe, a place where security is expected to be very tight because of the presence of State House and several other sensitive institutions like the Entebbe International Airport.

The police, the lead law enforcement agency in the country have also been seemingly caught off-guard, with the arrest of the 13 suspects failing to deter the killings, the latest of the victims being 28-year old Jalia Nalule, whose body was found by a bricklayer in Kayirira Kyewagga in Nkumba Central about a week ago, and the other of an unidentified woman found over the weekend in Kitala.

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Police boss General Kale Kayihura, who sometime back camped in Entebbe and held multiple security meetings to try and put a halt to the senseless misdeeds, has alluded to the killings as ritual sacrifice. However, for now it seems not much is there to support that assertion.

Anyhow, the killings have now turned on the throb and Security Minister Lieutenant General Henry Tumukunde, the man most remembered for containing the Allied Democratic Front (ADF) insurrection in the 1990s, has once again been called to the fore to try and stem the calamitous tidal wave that almost smirks of organized ‘serial murders’.

According to Lt. Gen. Tumukunde, preliminary findings indicate that some of the suspects arrested in connection with the murders in Entebbe do not hail from the area.

The General however noted that there is a pattern of sorts: all the women killed are aged between 18 and 25, and they are raped and killed, in almost similar fashion. He also says that there is still a puzzle as to whether the women are killed and dumped promptly, or whether the killers first hoard the bodies of their victims and then dump them afterwards.

With hindsight, the ‘Entebbe – Nansana’ killings tend to remind Ugandans of yore about other unresolved fatal paradoxes including the killing of academics and doctors between 1979 and 1980 and more recently, the killing of 12 Muslim clerics about two years ago. Indeed, investigations in both the above circumstances yielded little.

Needless to say therefore, in the case of the Muslim clerics, the police investigations that ensued and led to the arrest and charging of over 10 people including top Muslim cleric, Amir Sheikh Yunus Kamoga together with three others, yielded little or no result because some members of the group was recently convicted for treason and acquitted for the murder charges. This development left many Ugandans asking ‘who killed the Muslim clerics?’

Inevitably then, the current killings of the women have helped rekindle and deepen the issue of the paradoxical killings that have over the past couple of years sent shock waves in the Ugandan population, most times leading to selective opinions by various individuals. And, in the Entebbe-Nansana killings, one school of thought borders on talk of rivalry among the security agencies in a bid to control the huge budget that goes work of investigative nature.

However, be that as it may, will the entry of General Tumukunde, a seasoned spy chief who has headed both the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) and the Internal Security Organisation (ISO), help solve the Entebbe – Nansana killings?

Well, those who know him say Gen. Tumukunde has over the years spent as a spy chief of ISO and CMI mastered the art of maintaining good civil-military relations akin to his operations during the National Resistance Army (NRA) bush war that brought the current government to power.

‘We take long to understand how the women were killed so we have that gap… I want to assure you that we are going to get to the bottom of this matter,’ the General was quoted as telling journalists, after he held a meeting with security officials and civic leaders in Entebbe.

It is against such a background, they argue, that he has once again been called upon to evoke his prowess in pursuit of the Entebbe-Nansana killers.

“Using his skills acquired in intelligence gathering over the years General Tumukunde managed to infiltrate and destroy the ADF; people like the late Major Muhammad Kiggundu (RIP) and ‘Commander Benz’, who were staunch ADF rebels were recruited into the UPDF by him, and these later availed him with credible information that helped decimate the rebel outfit. I believe he will accomplish this task (Entebbe-Nansana killings) because his current assignment does not involve more sophisticated people than the ADF rebels,” a source told me.

Well, for now all eyes will focus on Gen. Tumukunde to provide the ‘final solution’ to those who have made it a habit of killing innocent women.