Kampala- Siraj Wambede, a boda boda rider, was last seen negotiating fares with two passengers at about 3pm on Jie Street in Moroto Municipality on the night of March 25, 2011.
The next day, Wambede didn’t appear. His uncle, Elias Mwambu, had a feeling something must have gone wrong. He contacted Wambede’s father and reported a case of a missing person at police.
Before major efforts were made to establish the whereabouts of the missing person, Moroto District police was contacted by their counterparts in Kenya that a body of an unidentified man had been found on Nakabala-Nakiloro Road near their border.
Moroto police officers led by Assistant Inspector of Police, Paul Osakam, went to the scene to start investigations.
At the scene, police investigators concluded that it could have been a murder case since the deceased’s body had marks pointing to a struggle involving at least three people.
The body had a deep cut on the left jaw, another around the neck, a stab wound on the chest and amputated lower limbs.
It was taken to the hospital for further medical examination and identification.
Since police had already got a case of a missing
boda boda rider, they contacted the chairperson of the riders, who then picked Mwambu and the duo visited the hospital to identify the deceased. Mwambu identified the deceased as Wambede.
The detectives couldn’t find the motorcycle UDR 235C that he was last seen with, which painted a picture that the deceased had been killed by assailants who wanted to steal his motorcycle. Police’s task was to look for the killers and recover the motorcycle.
Again AIP Osakam was contacted by his colleagues in Kenya informing him that they had arrested a suspect who was in a possession of a motorcycle bearing number plates of one that belonged to the deceased. He crossed to Kenya to probe the case further at Lokiriama Police Post.
Kenyan police officers told him that on the evening of March 25, two people came riding the motorcycle but when they reached the border checkpoint, they didn’t stop as per the guidelines, this led to a pursuit. The officers said they arrested the rider but his passengers fled.
They told him that the suspect had been taken to their main station at Lodwar in Kenya. He continued with his journey to Lodwar Police Station where all the information was confirmed.
AIP Osakam even talked to the suspect and picked details of the robbed motorcycle.
The suspect was identified as Benard Marunda alias Mohamed Ekalapatan, a Kenyan national, and was found with Shs18,000 and a mobile phone which the Kenyan officers believed belonged to the deceased.
AIP Osakam couldn’t walk away with the suspect since he was in a foreign country and needed an extradition order. He had to return in Uganda empty-handed.
An extradition order is a long process but the officer, in communication with his counterparts in Kenya, said he would fast-track it. However, the Kenyan authorities said he had to wait a little longer.
He was told that Marunda had several pending cases in Kenya for which he had to answer first before he could be handed over to Uganda. Marunda had earlier been convicted over similar cases in Kenya but he escaped.
He searched for more information by going to the place where the deceased was last seen and talked to those who could recall the people he last interacted with.