Assassinated Ugandan Prosecutor declined protection, says Uganda Police

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Late Joan Kagezi (pictured L) was assassinated yesterday in the Ugandan Capital Kampala.

KAMPALA- Slain Principal State Attorney Joan Kagezi declined protection from the Very Important Persons Police Unit – VIPPU, Uganda Police spokesperson Fred Enanga has told Afrika Reporter.

Kagezi, the lead prosecutor in the high profile trial of 13 men accused of a 2010 deadly twin bomb attacks by al-Shabaab, that claimed 76 lives of football fans watching the World Cup finals in Kampala. She was shot dead Monday night in Kiwatule, a Kampala suburb as she drove home.

She was in charge of the International Crime Division in the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), handling crimes such as terrorism, war crimes, and trafficking in persons. Police say she was also working with the Police in the prosecution of those accused of recent killings, robberies and terrorism in Busoga region and Kampala.

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga tells this website that “police had felt that with the nature of her job, Kagezi needed protection, but she outrightly declined the advice on ground that her life was not under threat.”

Joan Kagezi’s friends say, “Joan always told us that God knew that she was the only parent to her children and would protect her. She never seemed in fear of her life. We her friends were the ones who were worried for her,” Sarah Ssegane, a family friend to the deceased said.

A joint team of security officials from the Chieftaincy of Military intelligence (CMI), Internal Security Organisation (ISO) and Special Forces Command led by the Director of Criminal Investigations and Intelligence (CIID) Grace Akullo, is carrying out investigations into the shooting. Meanwhile a source in the judiciary says Senior Principal State Attorney Joan Kagezi was set to be appointed a judge of the High Court.

Below is the Inspector General of Police (IGP)’s official statement:

This (last)evening, Monday 30th March 2015, Ms. Joan Kagezi, Ag. Assistant Director of Public Prosecution, was shot dead at 7:15 pm, near her residence in Kiwatule a city suburb as she drove home with her children.

She had stopped at a fruit stall by the road side where she normally stopped to purchase fruits, when the criminals riding on a motorcycle of boxer type, red in color, stopped next to the parked vehicle and shot her twice in the neck and shoulder, through the widow on the driver’s side. She was driving the vehicle herself.

The Director of CIID, Assistant Inspector General of Police Grace Akullo who by coincidence was driving some distance behind her, was the first police officer on the scene.

She coordinated the evacuation of the deceased to Mulago hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival. Her three children who were with her escaped unhurt.

Ms. Joan Kagezi was in charge of the International Crime Division handling international crimes such as terrorism, war crimes, and trafficking in persons.

At the time of her tragic death she was the lead prosecutor in the case of the 2010 terror suspects now before the High Court.

She was, also working with the Police in the prosecution of the suspects in the recent spate of murders, robberies and terrorism in Busoga region and Kampala. Her death is a big loss to the country.

Immediately after the shooting, the police secured the scene, and interviewed eye witnesses who have given very useful information that will assist in the hunt for the murderers.

We call upon any member of the public who may have any information relating to the incident to give it to the police, any other security officer or LC official.

In spite of this tragic incident of criminality, we call upon the public to remain calm but vigilant.

The murder of Joan Kagezi should only serve to increase our resolve to hunt down and bring to justice all those elements bent on disturbing the security and development of our country.

GEN. KALE KAYIHURA
INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE
30TH MARCH 2015