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Who killed Jajja Iculi?

Isma Olaxess

Isma Olaxess

In recent years, we have become accustomed to being told that ‘PIGS’ are responsible for every headline-grabbing murder or tragedy.

True to form, President Museveni used his Twitter account at 3:21pm on May 8, 2023 to declare that ‘PIGS’ were the killers of the notorious vlogger Ibrahim Lubega Tusubira alias Jjaja Iculi alias Isma Olaxess.

A social media bully who rose to prominence as a hatchet man for bigwigs in government and their closely associated business fat cats, Jajja Iculi was shot dead by an unknown assassin at about 9:20pm on May 6, 2023 in the sleepy suburb of Kyanja, Nakawa division.

Accusing ‘PIGS’ for every breach of public order and national security is part of President Museveni’s strongman schtick, but it has become boring and even cold and unnerving, as the media, courts and the public have seen through it and become utterly disgusted.

The media raised the first query. On June 9, 2021, The Observer published a special report titled ‘New murder, same old vow to crush PIGS.’

According to this report, ‘The vow to crush the PIGS is a permanent fixture in six of Museveni’s angry speeches made in the immediate aftermath of the high-profile murders but remains hollow in effect to-date.’

The high-profile murders spotlighted were those of senior prosecutor Joan Kagezi (March 30, 2015), Maj Mohammed Kiggundu (November 26, 2016), AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi (March 17, 2017), politician Ibrahim Abiriga and his driver Saidi Kongo (June 8, 2018), police officer Muhammed Kirumira and his female friend Resty Nalinya Mbabazi (September 8, 2018), and Gen Edward Katumba Wamala’s daughter Brenda Nantongo and his official driver Haruna Kayondo (June 1, 2021).


According to President Museveni and government officials cited in the said report, PIGS are ‘shallow thugs, criminals and killers’ closely associated with the Islamist rebel group, Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which is considered a terrorist organisation under Uganda law.

However, there is no judicial record of ‘PIGS’ being found guilty of any of the aforesaid accusations. On February 26, 2021, the Director of Public Prosecutions informed the international crimes division of the High court that she had withdrawn terrorism charges against the 11 suspected ADF militants who had been arrested in connection with Maj Kiggundu’s murder.

Court then ordered the immediate release of the accused persons from Luzira prison where they had been remanded since 2017. Following the arrest of more than 50 suspects in 2017 in connection with the assassination of Kaweesi, all but eight were dropped from the indictment due to lack of evidence.

However, the state has failed or refused to convene a trial for the eight accused persons and is likely to withdraw these charges at the eleventh hour just like in the case of Maj Kiggundu’s murder.

Besides killing, torturing and harassing numerous innocent Muslims across the country, six years of detention without trial is all that the government has to show after poking fingers at the so-called PIGS that allegedly killed Kaweesi!

Unsurprisingly, there is no suspect currently on trial for the murders of Kagezi, Abiriga, Kongo, Nantongo or Kayondo.


On April 24, 2023, the High court acquitted Abubakar Karungi, who had been detained for five years, on the chilling charge of being part of the murderous ADF gang of ‘PIGS’ that had allegedly executed Kirumira and Nalinya at Bulenga trading centre in Wakiso district.

His co-accused, Hamza Mwebe, had been acquitted much earlier when it was determined, at the close of the prosecution evidence, that ‘no case to answer’ had been disclosed against him.

In acquitting Karungi, Justice Margaret Mutonyi minced no words: ‘In my observation, the investigations in this case were not systematic and properly done to discover and examine the facts. The suspicion that the assassins were ADF rebels ... was the beginning of mismanagement of the criminal investigations of this gruesome double murder with impunity.’

The learned judge queried why the police had not only summarily killed one Abdu Kateregga, the alleged triggerman, but also failed to present evidence of the alleged murder weapon.

She recorded the following concerns for public awareness: ‘It is general knowledge that guns and bullets are a preserve of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces, the Uganda Police Force and Uganda Prisons Service. Where Ugandan Citizens are gruesomely murdered, like in this case, using weapons that are a preserve of our Security Forces, it is important that investigations are taken seriously to the extent of establishing the kind of weapon that was used and possible source of supply. This would help in directing the course of investigations.’

She continued: ‘It is not known whether the investigators in this case ever thought of tracing the source of the murder weapon. If at all they were convinced Kateregga had a hand in the murder, they should have not killed him but arrested him to obtain his statement and possible retrieval of the murder weapon. If at all he was killed, the police that was investigating the gruesome murder of their very own and another should have exhibited what was in his possession that made him dangerous to the extent that he had to be put out of action in defence of their own lives, or what he had which had any connection with the murder. The arresting officer is allowed to use excessive force only where the suspect is dangerous or armed. What was it that those who put him out of action were fearing or wanted to conceal?

Finally, the learned judge concluded as follows: ‘We have a well-established criminal justice system that does not necessitate extrajudicial killings of suspects. This court condemns this kind of conduct as it violates the constitutional right to a fair hearing provided for under Article 28 of the constitution which presumes suspects to be innocent until proven guilty and destroys the chain of investigations.’

Following such an embarrassing rejection, by the prosecutor and the courts, of the junta’s arbitrary policy of linking murder charges to the so-called ‘PIGS’, Ugandan security critics and social media conspiracists are probably justified in asserting that what Museveni cryptically calls ‘PIGS’ are, in reality, his ‘People In Government Security’.

They have just killed another Ugandan citizen, with impunity. The author is the CEO Legal Brains Trust, a Kampala-based democracy and human rights watchdog.


+10 #1 Lakwena 2023-05-17 08:56
To say the least, this is a government of Pigs, by the Pigs and for the Pigs, who in 1981 went to bushes of Luweero and for 38 years are running an ruining Ugandans lives and properties.

Otherwise since that Feb Tarahe sh**ter 1981, to date who else have been behind all the insecurities and cold-blood murder of Ugandans.

E.g. in the aftermath the 18-19th Nov 2020 Massacre of over 54 innocent Ugandans in cold blood; Gen Tibuhaburwa himself told Ugandans and the whole wide world that he also knew and still knows the six Pigs who in December 2020, murdered Isaac Ssenyange a.k.a Zebra the Boxer in a hail of bullets.
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+9 #2 Lakwena 2023-05-17 09:02
The unfortunate thing is that: although Tibuhaburwa's Public utterance was made in the hearing of the IGP, Afande Ochola; it is three years and counting, but Ochola has not taken interest to ask Gen Tibuhaburwa to report to the nearest Police Station about the Pigs who murdered Boxer Zebra.

The Police religiously keep telling Ugandans to report any crime or suspected criminals to "the nearest Police Station". But the same Police is incapable of telling the President who is their Commander in Chief to report to the "nearest Police Station" about the killers of Isaac Ssenyange.

In other words, Gen Tibuhaburwa conceals, aids and abets the killing of innocent Ugandans by Pigs.
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+9 #3 Remase 2023-05-17 10:25
Counsel, let's put aside those gruesome murders you have outlined and presume that the state has [deliberately] failed to produce any evidence that proves that it's the "PIGS" which are responsible for those murders!

Let's talk about gruesome murders with conclusive evidence and known murderers whom the state has deliberately not prosecuted [simply] because they were orders from above [M7].

Kyagulanyi's driver, Yasin, who was killed in Arua, the over 150 innocent people killed in Nov 2020 after Kyagulanyi was innocently detained in Jinja, the innocent Kyagulanyi's bodyguard who was runover by a militant track and so many other murders with clear evidence and known murderers/suspects!

If the state deliberately fails to prosecute murder cases with conclusive evidence and known murderers/suspects, how will it successfully prosecute the above mentioned murders in the article which are clearly organized crimes/murders by state militants and/or officials?
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+8 #4 Immaculate Nambi 2023-05-17 10:55
This article is very well written. He who has ears, let him hear...
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+1 #5 Kent Mawa 2023-05-17 11:48
Who killed Jajja Iculi , being the headline, my view is that he was probably killed by some people that are related or associated with the late Engola.

This looked like a revenge murder.

Unfortunately , its a case of a bunch of pigs investigating fellow pigs.

End of the day , it all boils down to bacon wrapped sausages. Moving on to the next murder.
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+3 #6 PaulM 2023-05-17 13:06
For failing to properly investigate these murders, Museveni will be held responsible for them.

No one can pin Idi Amin for the murder of several prominent Ugandans opposed to his misrule but his failure to stop or properly investigate them was a clear indication that he benefited from them
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