Police constable Ivan Wabwire has been committed to the High Court for trial after being accused of fatally shooting an Indian moneylender, Uttam Bhandari, at Raja Chambers on Parliamentary Avenue in Kampala.
The incident has prompted a criminal case, and the prosecution alleges that Wabwire unlawfully killed Bhandari with malice aforethought.
The case involves complex details, including the misuse of an AK 47 rifle, disagreements over a loan, and questions about Wabwire’s mental state.
Charges and Commitment
Police Constable (PC) Ivan Wabwire is facing trial in the High Court for allegedly killing Uttam Bhandari, an Indian moneylender.
The Buganda Road Chief Magistrate, Ronald Kayizzi, has committed Wabwire to stand trial.
The prosecution, led by Ivan Kyazze and signed by senior state attorney Timothy Amerit on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Jane Francis Abodo, presents an indictment indicating Wabwire’s involvement in the crime.
Sequence of Events
The indictment outlines the events leading up to the fatal shooting. On May 10, 2023, PC Steven Murombo obtained an AK 47 rifle with 120 rounds of ammunition from the Central Police Station (CPS) armory, ostensibly for official duties.
He returned the rifle on May 12. On that same day, Murombo signed out the rifle once more, but this time he left it in a room at CPS that he shared with Wabwire.
Motives Behind the Shooting
The indictment suggests that a dispute arose between Wabwire and Uttam Bhandari due to a loan secured by Wabwire from TFS financial Services, a money lending entity where Bhandari was a director and proprietor.
Wabwire had defaulted on the loan, leading to disagreements over the outstanding amount to be paid.
In light of these financial difficulties, Wabwire allegedly hatched a plan to address the situation.
On May 12, 2023, he dressed in a police uniform, took Murombo’s gun, and traveled to TFS financial services by boda boda (motorcycle taxi).
Upon arriving at Bhandari’s office, Wabwire and Bhandari engaged in a discussion that quickly escalated.
Wabwire allegedly fired several gunshots at the office’s CCTV screen and proceeded to shoot Bhandari multiple times, resulting in his death.
The prosecution plans to rely on various forms of evidence, including CCTV and private surveillance footage from Raja Chambers, medical reports attesting to Wabwire’s mental state, postmortem reports on the deceased, and a crime scene report.
Wabwire’s Mental State
The indictment acknowledges that Wabwire was diagnosed with schizophrenia, a chronic mental illness.
However, it suggests that he was found to be mentally fit to provide a statement about his actions leading to the incident.
It is claimed that his illness did not influence his capacity to execute the actions that resulted in the murder.
The case involves a tragic fatal shooting, a disputed loan, and questions regarding the mental state of the accused.
The prosecution will rely on various forms of evidence to build its case, including surveillance footage and medical reports.