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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Indian national shot dead by mentally unstable police constable in Kampala

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New Delhi/Kampala: An Indian national businessman was shot dead by a Ugandan police officer in Kampala, reports said.

Uttam Bhandari, the Director of TFS Financial Services at Rajja Chambers, was fatally shot by police office PC Ivan Wabwire on Friday after an altercation over returning a loan amount the latter had taken from the Indian.

President Yoweri Museveni on Saturday sent condolences to the family of Bhandari.

The Indian High Commission in Kampala conveyed its condolences and thanked the President for his condolences, and for arresting the police constable.

It said in a tweet:

“HCI Kampala stands with the bereaved Bhandari family and conveys its sincere condolences. Also thank President HE Kaguta Museveni for his condolences and the Ugandan authorities for immediately arresting the culprit involved in this heinous crime.”

Disturbing CCTV video footage has emerged that shows police constable PC Wabwire Ivan first having a conversation with Uttam Bhandari, before firing at him several times.

It is reported that the police officer, who has since been arrested, had a loan balance misunderstanding with the bank.

Later in the evening, the Police top leadership together with the Indian Community leaders in Uganda held a crisis meeting in which they were assured of maximum security.

The pledge was made by the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Tumusiime Katsigazi who emphasized that the shooting should not be regarded as a case of organized or targeted crime, but rather as an isolated incident.

Meanwhile, the Uganda Police Force (UPF) has come under renewed focus after revelations that it knew about the mental health issues of the constable who fatally shot the Indian moneylender at Raja Chambers on Parliamentary Avenue in Kampala.

PC Wabwire, who has been servicing one loan since 2020, “owed the TFS Financial Services Shs2,130,000” as per Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Patrick Onyango.

In a statement, the police said that 13 cartridges were recovered from the scene. Footage of the shooting shows PC Wabwire returning to pump more bullets into Bhandari after he miraculously continued to show signs of life.

Wabwire has a history of mental instability, according to police, and went berserk after failure to agree on the repayment plan for the loan he had taken.

In 2018 he was banned from possessing a firearm for six years after being admitted to Butabika Hospital twice over the mental breakdown.

He allegedly stole the gun he used in the shooting from a fellow policeman and roommate, Steven Mulambo. Mulambo is also currently in police custody.

President Museveni also posed five other questions, including ‘Did [PC Wabwire] walk away from his guard post without permission with a gun to commit crime? How are the guns stored in the police? Is there no security at the site where the victim was? Why did that local security allow an armed person into the building who had no guard business there? Did he have a history of mental instability? If he had, why hadn’t the police leadership noticed and acted appropriately?’

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