POLICE | A senior detective at Kampala Metropolitan Police has been detained over releasing a suspect in the robbery of a State House employee.
Abdu Nasser Mulimira, the officer in-charge of criminal investigations at Old Kampala Division, is said to have spent the last two weeks holed up at Railway Police Station with most senior officers too afraid to handle his case.
A source familiar with the case said Mulimira, at the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), was arrested on the orders of President Museveni, who is understood to have reacted following a briefing that the officer received a bribe to release a suspect in aggravated robbery.
Presidential Senior Press Secretary Don Wanyama said, however, that he was not aware of the case that is a bit conflicted with some accounts from sources in Police saying the robbery took place on a bar in Lugunjja, Lubaga Division; while others saying it was on the home of a State House employee.
The staffer, identified by sources as Betty Nangozi, is a resident of Lungujja in Lubaga Division. The account says she was robbed clean of her money worth Shs15 million and other household property.
It is alleged that, on October 19, a woman operating a bar was attacked by thugs who took with money and other property. The suspects then inexplicably returned in the area and were spotted by residents, who gave chase as they escaped on a getaway car.
Boda boda operators had not given up on the chase and realising fearing they would be lynched upon arrest, the suspects turned themselves in to Police in the area before they were transferred to Old Kampala and detained at Lungujja Police Station.
Screening of the suspects showed that one of them had previous murder and aggravated robbery case hanging on his head in Mbarara, whose DPC confirmed and had the suspect transferred to the western district to face charges for the previous crime as well.
However, at Old Kampala, Mulimira decided to release a second suspect on bond after injuries he had sustained during the chase worsened.
But Mulimira soon after travelled for a short training and while away, Nangozi visited to check on the progress of investigations, only to be told that one of the suspects had been released on bond.
“Mulimira’s junior claimed that his boss had taken a bribe to free the suspect and Nangozi wasn’t amused by the claims. She immediately contacted a senior staffer at State House,” a source said.
The staffer, at the rank of presidential advisor, is said to have worked on getting the orders to have Mulimira and other detectives involved in the case arrested.
But Mulimira, in a statement to Police, said he only released the suspect because his health had deteriorated after five days in detention
“He was coughing blood and collapsed too. After five days in detention, I gave him bond on substantial sureties. He has been reporting while healing,” Mulimira said in his statement.
“The complaints were updated all the time. While I was on course in Nairobi (Kenya), the complainants followed up their case but they were not properly briefed instead and ill advised.”
Police spokesperson Emilian Kayima confirmed the arrest of ASP Mulimira but could not go into the specifics, saying investigations were yet to be complete.
“I cannot tell you the particulars of case since investigations are still ongoing to establish what happened,” Kayima said.
Mulimira’s case is said to be sensitive as it involves the presidency, leaving many offficers in fear of handling the matter as they wait for recommendation from investigations and directives from State House.
Although the Constitution recognises bail and police bond and place them at the discretion of presiding judge and magistrate or investigating officer, the presidency is often the law in itself.
President Museveni has always spoken against granting bail to suspects in aggravated robberies and murders, saying his governments prefers that they are handled from behind bars.