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Widow of Bobi Wine’s former driver demands inquest into fatal shooting

Yasin Kawuma was shot dead on August 13, 2018, during the Arua Municipality by-election confrontation between supporters of Kyaddondo East MP Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, and President Museveni's guards, the Special Forces Command.

JUSTICE | The High Court in Arua today (Monday) hears an application demanding an inquest into the shooting dead of MP Robert Kyagulanyi’s Yasin Kawuma.

Through her lawyer Ladslaus Rwakafuzi, Alice Mwesigwa, one of the seven widows of Bobi Wine’s former driver, wants the court to order Internal Affairs minister Jeje Odongo to appoint a coroner to carry out an inquest into the fatal shooting of Kawuma.

“The late Yasin Kawuma was assassinated/shot in cold blood by members of Uganda People’s Defence Forces and policement,” Mwesigwa says in her affidavit that was filed before the court on February 6.

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Kawuma was shot dead on August 13, 2018, during the Arua Municipality by-election confrontation between supporters of Kyaddondo East MP Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, and President Museveni’s guards, the Special Forces Command.

Justice Anthony Ojok will hear the case jointly with that in which three of the ‘Arua 33’ victims of brutality have sued the government seeking compensatory and punitive damages for torture they were subjected to under military detention.

Soon after the shooting of Kawuma, Bobi Wine, who was in Aurua Municipality to add his weight to Independent Opposition candidate Kassiano Wadri, claimed that the fatal shot was meant for him but that he was not in the car.

In a statement after his release following two weeks of detention by the military on charges of treason, Bobi Wine said Kawuma had taken his seat in the Tundra car while he himself drove in a Land Cruiser.

“The gentleman who was driving the Tundra that day is one of our drivers (not Yasin). He moved out of the vehicle to call other team members who were supposed to drive with us,” he said.

“He took a bit long and I moved into my other vehicle (a Land Cruiser) which was right next to the Tundra and whose driver was already seated on the driver’s seat. We immediately set off for Pacific Hotel. I did not even see what happened after or how the late Yasin [Kawuma] ended up on my seat in the Tundra. For clarity, he had been driving another vehicle that day.”

The legislator said that he had started taking the stairs to his hotel room when one of the drivers came running to say that Kawuma had been shot.

“I could not believe it. We paced down and I saw with my own eyes, my friend and comrade Yasin, giving way as he bled profusely,” Bobi Wine said.

The statement, sent from US where he was receiving treatment, did not explicitly indicate that Kawuma had taken a bullet meant for him like the earlier tweet — that appears to have since been deleted.

The government later sent Shs20 million to the family of Kawuma that was delivered by singer Catherine Kusasira amid controversy as the family initially appeared to reject the money before accepting it.

Kawuma was buried in his ancestral home in Buwama in Mpigi District on August 16, 2018, leaving behind at least seven widows and 11 children.

“When he was killed, he was not serving a death sentence imposed by a competent court and, therefore, his death is presumed violent and unnatural,” Mwesigwa said. “An inquest must be conducted to establish the lawfulness of the death of Kawuma.”

 

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