Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Kampala — An outspoken and critical Ugandan policeman has been assassinated, a police spokesman said on Sunday, in the latest in a series of murders of senior officers and politicians.

Muhammad Kirumira was gunned down at the gate of his home along with a female companion in the Kampala suburb of Bulenga on Saturday night, police spokesperson Emillian Kayima said.

"The Uganda Police Force is greatly concerned with the assassination of assistant superintendent of police Muhammad Kirumira at Bulenga last night," the spokesman said.

"He was with a lady whom we have been informed is not his wife but someone he knew and she too succumbed to bullet wounds in the hospital where she was rushed for treatment," said Kayima.

He said the attackers were reportedly travelling on a motorcycle, a tactic used in the killings of assistant inspector-general of police Andrew Kaweesi in March, as well as a senior public prosecutor in 2015 and others.

Kirumira had repeatedly said he was a target of assassination.

He was suspended from his role as district commander in January after accusing his colleagues in a Facebook post of corruption and working with criminal gangs. He was arrested soon after.

Kirumira was awaiting trial on charges of criminal misconduct and abuse of authority at the time of his death.

In March President Yoweri Museveni fired the chief of police as well as the country’s security minister in what was regarded as a reaction to growing insecurity in the country. In June ruling party legislator Ibrahim Abiriga was gunned down, with his brother, also by attackers on motorcycles. No one has been brought to book for any of the killings.

In June Museveni ordered that MPs should receive armoured escorts and snipers to protect them, a decision that divided legislators and raised concerns about the cost of such an operation.

The president visited the scene of the murder on Sunday, and said the police force was installing cameras around Kampala and other major towns in a bid to end the killings.

"We are to stop these pigs by not just relying on old police methods," Museveni said.

He said the government would reactivate so-called Luweero methods to deal with criminals, referring to a local community-led administrative system used when he was a rebel leader in the eighties.

Ugandan pop star turned politician Robert Kyagulanyi, better known as Bobi Wine, reacted to the news of Kirumira’s killing from the US, where he is seeking treatment after allegedly being tortured by Ugandan police.

"Very sadly, that is the country we are living in. No one is safe. Our country is bleeding. This is very painful," he wrote on Facebook.