Police in Nwoya and Pakwach districts are investigating circumstances that led to the burning of a vehicle belonging to the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party mobiliser for Nebbi district.
Mr Charles Moses Owachgiu had welded and mounted President Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s statues on the front and rear parts of his Nissan pickup truck Reg. No UAE 010 S when it was set in flames on January 22, 2021.
Mr Owachgiu says the incident took place at around 4am near Ayago Bridge in Nwoya district on Karuma-Pakwach Highway; suspecting that the crime was perpetrated by people who trailed him in two vehicles from Migyera in Nakasongola district up to Ayago Bridge.
He says the assailants took advantage of the humps, overtook him, blocked the road before one of them armed with an AK-47 jumped out of one of the vehicles, dragged him out his car to the nearby bush where they demanded for money.
“They are the same people that I found at a stopover at Migyera and congratulated me upon President Museveni’s victory. They started following me right from Migyera up to Nwoya when they took advantage of the Ayago humps to overtake me and blocked the road with their vehicles,” he explains.
The NRM diehard explains that on being adamant to release the money, one of the men hit him with the butt of the gun and chopped off his left ring finger prompting Mr Owachgiu to immediately reveal that he had kept Sh1m at the back of the vehicle.
He says after robbing him of the money, the assailants set the vehicle ablaze and in the process he managed to escape from them.
Mr Owachgiu adds that he was helped by a Good Samaritan at around 6:30am, rushed him to Angal Hospital in Nebbi district where he is due to undergo an operation on his hand.
The officer in charge of Nwoya police station, Kenneth Agaba, confirms the report adding that a case of aggravated robbery was entered at Pakwach police station vide SD CRF 04/2021.
Police towed the charred vehicle to Nwoya central police station where it is currently parked.
The Aswa region police public relations officer, Jimmy Patrick Okema, says the police plan to embark on use of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) camera footage as the only option to trace for the unknown assailants that set the vehicle ablaze.
“We have the CCTV cameras from Kampala up to Gulu. Therefore, we shall embark on the use of these cameras from Kamdini to Karuma to see the vehicles that passed around that time of the incident” says Mr Okema.
About the charred vehicle
Mr Owachgiu says he started working on the vehicle in 2019 and finished the workmanship in July 2020.
“The vehicle involved a lot of science. As I drove it, President Museveni’s statue behind the vehicle simulated riding the bicycle while the front statue suggested him flashing NRM’s thumbs up sign,” Mr Owachgiu explains.
Mr Owachgiu says he used the vehicle to drum up support for President Museveni since it was a crowd puller to the campaigns.
“In fact, I spent about Shs50m on the skill to produce those statues which involved welding and fabrication,” he says.