Shocking details have emerged indicating how the Pine Car Bond boss Muhammed Ssebuufu tried to use money to manipulate investigations into the murder of a client who was killed at his business premises.
Former Centenary Bank employee, Donna Betty Katushabe, 42, last week breathed her last after she was allegedly tortured by Ssebuufu and his hit men at the Lumumba road based car mart. Red Pepper has exclusively learnt that after realizing that Ssebuufu was involved in this case, the Criminal Investigations Department at Kampala Central Police Station working closely with their counterparts at the Kampala Metropolitan and Kibuli headquarters respectively, gathered in an impromptu meeting to find out what exactly had happened.
Our sources say the CPS CIID Officer-in-Charge (OC), John Bosco Ajuga, was the first to handle the matter and shortly after, he briefed his boss Rebecca Namugenyi who also briefed Deputy CIID director, Geoffrey Musana about the matter.
Before long, CIID Director Grace Akullo was briefed about the case, upon which she tasked her deputy Musana to personally follow it up and dig up all the necessary facts. Surprisingly, when he reached the KMP CIID headquarters at Kampala CPS, Musana was shocked to learn that Ssebuufu, who had been detained on charges of murder vide reference CRB 1471/2015 and whose charge sheet had been signed by AIP Eliphaz Turyagyenda on October 22, 2015, had been released.
At this juncture, Musana working closely with KMP Commander Abbas Byakagaba and the Flying Squad crew swung into action and rearrested Ssebuufu. It is however alleged that Ssebuufu had managed to bribe his way to that temporary freedom after he came with about Shs100m and distributed it to the KMP CIID cops when he was first summoned.
“He gave them the money saying it was his ‘commitment’ to ‘cooperate with them’ at all costs in this particular case,” a source privy to this development intimated to us.
As all this happened however, Kampala Central Police Division boss, Aaron Baguma was attending a community Policing meeting at Kololo. When he later got the information; he delegated the OC Station Ronald Mugabi to handle the situation. When he returned from the Kololo meeting, DPC Baguma joined KMP Commander Abbas Byakagaba to re-arrest Ssebuufu. Upon the businessman’s re-arrest, Byakagaba ordered Baguma to arrange Ssebuufu’s transfer to the Special Investigations Division headquarters in Kireka for fear that he would be released again. Ssebuufu is being held at Kireka together with his accomplices: Stephen Lwanga, Godfrey Kayiza, and Silver Irambe.
HOW KATUSHABE WAS KILLED
According to reliable sources, Ssebuufu sold a vehicle to Katushabe at Shs19m and upon taking it, Katushabe paid him only Shs10m and remained with the balance of shs9m. However, she allegedly thereafter failed to honor the payment agreement and also went into hiding without a trace. This compelled Ssebuufu to declare her a wanted person.
It is alleged that after getting the car from Pine, Donna gave it out to her boyfriend who also sold it in Congo. Since that time, Sebuufu had staked a bounty on Katushabe’s head in a bid to recover his car. It’s said that before long, one of his ‘men’ spotted the woman around Kisekka Market and they immediately kidnapped her. But instead of handing her over to Police, they rushed her to Pine where she was allegedly tasked to either pay the balance or die.
The lady offered to give Ssebuufu a cheque of Shs.5m and also assured him that her lawyer was on the way bringing her cash (Shs.4m) to make the total of Shs9m. Surprisingly, the lawyer failed to raise the money, prompting Ssebuufu’s ‘men’ to start torturing her. Their luck however ran out when a Good Samaritan got wind of the torture and alerted police to it. There are reports that as part of the torture ordeal, the deceased was driven around Kampala while under kidnap and that she was in the process also taken to her home in Bwebajja. The prime suspects in this ‘rude tour’ have emerged as a one Paul, who claims to be a Police officer, and Shaban Odutu aka Golola, a bouncer who works with Ssebuufu.
POLICE CHIEF PROBED OVER MURDER CASE
The initial handling of this case drew fury from the public, with many people especially the deceased’s family, relatives and friends — including Defence Minister Dr. Crispus Kiyonga — coming out to openly complain about the injustice and incompetence portrayed by police. This was after reports seeped through that there was a ploy to alter the murder case to lesser charges of murder by mob justice or manslaughter. It’s against this background that a furious Kayihura ordered the Police Professional Standards Unit (PSU) to open up investigations against KMP CIID boss Rebecca Namugenyi and some other officers. This followed claims that they partake of Ssebuufu’s ‘corporation’ funds. Meanwhile, when investigations against Namugenyi and others kicked off, Grace Akullo instructed the acting KMP South Regional CID boss, a one Rashida, to handle the matter. By press time, all the evidence had been gathered and the file awaited being sent to the Resident State Attorney (RSA) for legal advice. Namugenyi recently faced off with the Flying Squad Commander, Herbert Muhangi over a case of an illegal fire arm (a pistol) involving former Makindye Division LC3 boss, Godfrey Kalungi. “Imagine she gave out a Pistol to a so called UPDF ‘Lieutenant Colonel’, claiming that it belonged to him and we all wondered how it ended up in Kalungi’s hands,” a source said. Meanwhile, the hunt for Paul and Shaban Odutu alias Golola, is ongoing.
KATUSHABE POSTMORTEM REPORT
The Mulago city mortuary postmortem report which was carried out by Dr. Male indicates that the deceased died as a result of multiple blunt force trauma. It’s now upon the police investigators to ascertain who exactly caused this trauma, and what exactly was used in inflicting it on the deceased.
ABOUT THE DECEASED
According to sources, the deceased was formerly married to Bugema University lecturer, Lamuel Bwambale but the two separated after their marriage got strained due to childlessness. She went to Bweranyangi Girls School and she has been renting a self-contained house in Bwebajja along Entebbe road. She was daughter to Pafura Kule, a renowned businessman in Kasese District. By the time of her death, she had just resigned from her Centenary Bank job, where she had worked as banker for over 15 years. She worked at Rukungiri branch, Corporate Branch, and Nakivubo respectively, before she resorted to doing her private businesses. She was buried on Saturday at her ancestral home in Vikunya Parish, Karambi Sub County, in Kasese District. WHO IS SEBUUFU? He is the Managing Director of the Lumumba Avenue based Pine Car Bond, although he has several other businesses. On 19th August, 2013, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Executive Director Jenifer Musisi Ssemakula through the legal Director, Mike Okua, wrote to Ssebuufu ordering him to vacate the business premises on grounds that his clients and employees were disrupting the flow of traffic. However, the two later reconciled and to date, he has been one of the key sponsors of the annual city carnival.
He recently roofed KCCA’s Kitebi Primary School and also donated more than forty jerry cans of Paint to refurbish the school and many others under KCCA. He has also not been at good terms with his business competitors and so blames them of blowing his current predicament out of proportion.