Expressway murder: Victims were lured to their death trap by a close friend

A former aviation operative and wife to one of the city businessman were gunned down by a person closely known to them, according to Police investigators.

The investigators privy to the case said Merina Tumukunde Rugyenza and Joshua Rushegyera Nteireho were lured to the scene where they were shot dead last Thursday night.

The duo was gunned down at Nambigirwa Bridge in Kajjansi town council along the Entebbe- Kampala Expressway in Wakiso district as they headed towards Entebbe. Merina was a wife to Mark Rugyenza, a businessman operating a chain of outlets in Kampala and Mbarara.

Nteireho, an IT graduate from Nkumba University, previously worked with Civil Aviation Authority and was reportedly a moneylender at the time of his death, according to relatives.

Without divulging details, while addressing a weekly press conference yesterday, Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said: “someone must have waited for him along the way”.

He said they were analyzing telephone call data to find out who was at the scene (of crime) at the time of the shooting.

Enanga said the investigators have ruled out suicide after an analysis of the case and preliminary findings from forensic experts. There were media reports earlier that the shooting could have been a suicide act.

However, explaining the shooting, Enanga said the nature of injuries and also the fact that the vehicle came to a full halt point to either a second or third party at the time of the shooting.

“The car was in parking mode with the handbrake up, while lights (headlamps) were on facing Entebbe side,” he explained.

Nteireho and Merina were cruising in a hired car and he was in the process of buying a Toyota Harrier from a car dealer, Robert Ssubi. At the time, he was to deposit sh25m.

Enanga said the wound on Merina shows that a bullet entered from the right side of the neck and exited through the left side. This implies that she was shot from the side.

For Nteireho, he sustained a wound that penetrated from the left-hand side of the head above the ear and it exited through the right-hand-side of the cheek. Nteireho’s body was facing the opposite side (Kampala side).

The investigators suspect he was carried from the car and ‘probably’ the killers carefully placed a firearm in his left hand to conceal evidence. However, the Police are still waiting for a ballistic report before pronouncing themselves on the matter.

The investigating team comprising the Criminal Investigations Directorate, Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence and Internal Security Organisation have lined up several persons for questioning. 

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Lukwago Joseph grew up in a newspaper family, and rumor has it that instead of playing the guitar in his infancy, his parents put a reporter’s notebook and a pen next to him shortly after he turned born eight years. Before becoming editor of UGANDANZ, Lukwago was a parliament news editor for WBS TV. He joined UGANDANZ in July 2018, A few months after the company launched. Lukwago also spent five years as a freelance reporter, where he covered reporting for the highest bidder, intelligence, foreign policy, and Ugandan police. Lukwago graduated from Makerere University in 2008 with a B.A. in Journalism and worked on his college newspaper.