A Luwero businessman has been arrested for allegedly hiring a Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) soldier to kill his business rival.
Swaibu Semanda, the owner of Extreme General Hardware, is accused of paying the soldier 2 million Ugandan shillings (about $500) to kill his neighbour Moses Kizito, the owner of MK Hardware.
The two men had been business rivals for the past seven years, and their rivalry reportedly turned violent when Kizito opened a hardware shop next to Semanda’s.
According to Kizito’s wife, Barbrah Sonko, a soldier approached her husband two days ago and told him that he had been contracted to kill him for 30 million shillings. Sonko says that the soldier then alerted the police, who hatched a plan to arrest Semanda after he paid a deposit for the job.
On Thursday night, the police and UPDF soldier sent a stage-managed photo of Kizito handcuffed to Semanda, in order to lure him into sending the money. Semanda fell for the trap, and he was arrested after sending 2 million shillings to the soldier.
Luwero district police commander Living Twazagye says that Semanda and two others are currently detained at Kasana police station. Twazagye says that police have preferred charges of conspiracy to murder a person, and they will be presented to the magistrate’s court after investigations are done.
This is not the first time that a homicide has been reported in Luwero district. Last week, Stephen Musisi, a resident of Bukomba village in Luwero sub-county, killed his wife Aisha Nalukenge Nagayi, and two children before he also committed suicide.
According to the Luwero district crime report, at least 58 homicide cases were reported in 2022, and the district ranked in eighth position with the highest number of cases.
The arrest of Semanda is a reminder of the dangers of violence in Luwero district. It is also a reminder that the police are working to bring criminals to justice.
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