Fresh details emerge of how Soroti DISO shot dead solar engineer

Suspect: Steven Nuwagira

Although the reason(s) why Soroti district internal security officer Steven Nuwagira shot dead 36-year-old solar engineer, Cedric Kayiwa on December 20, 2022, remain contested, what is clear was his intention to kill as per the postmortem report. 

According to the postmortem report released by Soroti regional referral hospital on December 21, Kayiwa’s body arrived at 04.10 am and the cause of death is multiple gunshot wounds including one in the right side of the chest just below the nipple area and another under the armpit.

Initially, media reports indicated that Nuwagira shot dead Kayiwa, an operations and maintenance engineer working with Access Solar in Opuyo, Soroti following a road accident altercation.

However, his family reached out to The Observer and provided a different version. According to his brother, Samson Mabirizi, the shooting could have been a result of a simple misunderstanding and an act of overreaction by a paranoid and perhaps drunk Nuwagira. Kayiwa and Nuwagira had apparently never met before until Tuesday, December 20, 2022, when they met at Big Bar in Soroti city with some friends only known as Brown and Captain Tumwine who later left for Kampala. 

Nuwagira and Kayiwa shared an unknown male mutual friend, Brown and Nuwagira was surprised that Kayiwa also knew Brown but as the night blew away, Brown left the duo who continued to drink and chat away together through the night and morning. According to eyewitnesses, by this time, Nuwagira was footing all the bills.

But all hell broke loose at around 3.30 am when Nuwagira wanted to retire and asked for Kayiwa’s phone number for later engagements. As he saved the number, it indicated that it was already in his phonebook saved as “Obore” who happens to be Nuwagira’s boss.

Now, a furious Nuwagira asked reportedly Kayiwa who he really is. “Who are you? Are you a spy?” before dragging him outside the bar. Kayiwa who was by now pleading to Nuwagira to double-check the number, insisting that he was not Obore and that Nuwagira could have mistyped one of the digits but Nuwagira would have none of it.

He allegedly put on a boda boda, saying he was taking him to Soroti police station but a few meters to the police station which is also opposite Soroti hospital, Nuwagira got off the boda boda, leaving Kayiwa still seated, pulled out a pistol and shot him twice in the chest and in the left leg, leaving him to die – all this was witnessed by security guards at Total petrol station according to Mabirizi.

Mabirizi says it is the Soroti police who are trying to fumble the case and sell the road traffic rage narrative so that they can let off the hook Nuwagira since his shooting intentions appear to have been unprovoked. In fact, he says the police even tried to talk them out of proceeding to court, offering an unspecified sum of money which was rejected by the deceased family at the onset. Even the burial expenses offer came with a condition of the family signing and absolving Nuwagira of any crime.  

“They [police] were conniving with the family of [Nuwagira] as they were helped by the RDC forcing us into negotiations with the family of [Nuwagira]. They even tried to trick us into signing off some money to help in the burial because the RDC was like, ‘you know Steven Nuwagira is our friend, and we work with him at the district so we would like to give condolences on his behalf but you have to sign first’. But we turned down all their offers. It’s only the RPC [regional police commander Moses Mwanga] that helped us, the rest were fighting for their friend not to be taken to court But we were lucky to be helped by the RPC,” said Mabirizi. 

Interestingly, it was RPC Mwanga who told the media earlier about the traffic offence as the cause of the shooting. Our efforts to get a comment from police were futile. Nuwagira has since been remanded by Soroti grade one magistrate, Edmund Okiror Okwi until January 6. Kayiwa is survived by a 2-year-old son and also left behind a pregnant wife.

Source: The Observer

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