Ugandan Police Officer Arrested for Murdering Indian Money Lender

Afaf Fahchouch
Afaf Fahchouch
3 Min Read
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Ugandan Police have confirmed the arrest of Police Constable Ivan Wabwire, who on May 12, shot and killed Uttam Bhandari, an Indian money lender near Parliament in Kampala. PC Wabwire, who is now being held at Busia police station in eastern Uganda on murder charges, killed Bhandari at Raja Chambers along Parliamentary Avenue in Kampala.

Following the incident, a joint team of security personnel traced the suspect to Busia District. On May 13, 2023, the Flying Squad Unit joined the territorial police of Busia, and on May 14, 2023, at around 7am, Wabwire was arrested in Busia Municipality at Customs by a joint team commanded by the DPC Busia SP Didas Byaruhanga, according to Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, SSP Patrick Onyango.

Footage retrieved from the crime scene shows PC Wabwire firing multiple bullets at Mr Bhandari at close range after a brief discussion. The other people who were in the office were seen running out for their lives. Bhandari, the director of TFS Financial Services, was killed in the incident.

Police confirmed that the officer attached to Kampala Central Police Station had been servicing a loan of Shs2, 130,000 he acquired from TFS Financial Services in 2020. Wabwire, who has a history of mental instability, according to police, went berserk after failure to agree on the repayment plan for the loan he had acquired.

In 2018, authorities banned the 30-year-old officer, who comes from Buwalira village, Bumunji Parish, Masinya Sub County, from possessing a firearm for six years after he was hospitalized twice due to a mental breakdown. According to his relatives, he had shown signs of mental instability as early as 2016, before joining the police force. When the police learned about his mental health issues, he was treated in the hospital and discharged before being deployed to areas where he didn’t need to carry a gun.

He allegedly stole the gun he used in the shooting from a fellow policeman and roommate, Steven Mulambo, who is also currently in police custody. The incident highlights the importance of addressing mental health concerns among police officers and the need for stricter gun control measures in Uganda.

Afaf Al Fahchouch

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