Isma Mbuusi, a car washer reported to his workplace at Nakulabye on February 13 to carry on his usual work.
The 28-year old father of one started off his work normally at around 8 am until he was contacted a city businessman, Isma Kayanja who owns car depot at Bakuli to wash his cars.
Mr. Kayanja is a renowned city car dealer and his car depot is near other four car depots who mostly sell Ugandan used cars.
Mr. Kayanja reportedly hired Mbuusi to wash his cars so that potential buyers can find them clean.
Kayanja allegedly went to town to transact some businesses and it was at this point when Mbuusi was allegedly approached by people from the nearby car depots.
“Mbuusi knew the geography of the whole place because he used to come to wash cars and these people wanted him to direct them where the safe is as they promised him money,” said a man who only identified himself as Cyrus. He is a close business associate of Mr. Kayanja.
It is alleged by Kayanja’s people that Mbuusi and the group hatched a plan to break into Kayanja’s offices and made off with more than sh60m which they allegedly shared.
The following day, the other colleagues of Mbuusi reportedly went missing but he showed up at work as usual and Kayanja got hold of him.
“He admitted to having broken into the offices and he said that they gave him sh6m and he had a balance of sh3.5m which he gave to Kayanja before he was handed over to Old Kampala Police,” added his friend Cyrus.
Mbuusi drinks ‘acid’
Sources near Kayanja’s car depot disclosed that as police were slopping down to take the suspect to police, he requested to get his herbal medicine from the nearby car depot as he reportedly suffered from Ulcers and was HIV positive.
The police reportedly obliged and he sent one of his colleague to bring him the herbal medicine in a mineral water bottle which his colleague did.
“They handed over the bottle to him and immediately before spitting profusely as the drinks were sour and those are the drinks that ended his life,” said Kalungi Muhammad
As they approached the Old Kampala Police Station, Mbuusi’s condition was worsening and the police rushed him to Mulago hospital Kiruddu where he breathed his last three days later.
Kayanja and many people around his car depot believe that the people who connived with Mbuusi to break into his office and making off with his money wanted to finish him so that he could not mention them.
The postmortem report
The Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson Emilian Kayima says police is still investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Mbuusi.
He noted that the postmortem report confirmed that there were some substances which were found in his body that led to his death though it is not clear what the substances could be.
“We have forwarded samples of the substances to the Government Analytical Laboratory (GAL) for further analysis to know exactly what might have caused Mbuusi’s death but I cannot give you a timeline when the results will come out,” Kayima said.
Hydrochloric acid is considered as a common chemical but it has a powerful smell that can be lethal if too much is inhaled. Prolonged exposure to hydrochloric acid can cause detrimental health effects, even at minimal levels. Since it is quite common, both people and pets can swallow or breathe it and the effects can be deadly.
Since hydrochloric acid is caustic and highly corrosive, exposure to the chemical can cause burns in the mouth and throat. These burns can be severe or even fatal.
The dying declaration
At Kirudu, police said Mr Mbuusi reportedly made a dying declaration that was recorded on video in which he informed his relatives that he had been tortured and forced to take acid in Mr Kayanja’s car.
Mr Mbuusi was taken to the hospital handcuffed but the device was later taken off his hands after police realised his life was in danger.
Mr Haruna Ssemwanga, Mbuusi’s supervisor, told local media that the plan to steal the money was hatched by one Katongole, who is still at large. Mr Ssemwanga added that Mr Mbuusi while being interrogated by Mr Kayanja revealed that he was given Shs3.5m.
Police have also arrested a one Joseph Kalyango, who is suspected to have bought the acid that was given to Mbuusi, causing his death.
“I have never heard or seen someone taking acid on his own. But we are waiting for a postmortem report from the government analytical laboratory,” Mr Kayima said.
Police arrests Kayanja
The police earlier this week arrested Kayanja and he is still in police custody pending investigations.
Kayima says the police has forwarded the two files to the Director Public Prosecutions (DPP) for advise.
“We opened two files of murder and theft and currently we are waiting for DPP’s advice as we wait for results from GAL,” Kayima said.
Mbuusi’s incident comes on the heels of two cases in court in which two city tycoons are accused of torturing people to death.
Mr Muhammad Ssebuwufu, proprietor of Vine Car Bond is accused of killing Betty Donah Katushabe over Shs10m car debt and Mr Andrew Kananura, aka Desh, is accused of clobbering to death Badru Kateregga, a bar attendant at Panamera Bar.
Kayanja pins Police
In his statement seen by TheUgandan, Kayanja said that he actually handed over Mbuusi to Police in sound health and denied to have tortured him.
He says that Mbuusi drunk the alleged acid when he was being taken to police from Kayanja’s car depot.
We accessed Kayanja at Old Kampala Police Station where he was being detained and gave an interesting twist of events. He was released on police bond early this week.
“I did what any responsible citizen is expected of; Mbuusi and other people broke into my office and entered the safe where I keep the money and actually he (Mbuusi) admitted taking the money and that is why I called Police to arrest him and he was in sound health,” Kayanja said.
He added that as the policemen were slopping down, Mbuusi reportedly requested them to allow him to take his medication for ulcers and he sent someone who brought him the drinks in a bottle.
“He took the drinks brought to him when the police is watching and I heard rumours that the drinks were intoxicated with acid which led to his death,” Kayanja added.
Kayima refutes Kayanja’s claims even though people around his (Kayanja’s) car depot revealed that Mbuusi drunk the drinks from a car depot near Kayanja’s.
Kayanja says that Police should arrest the person who gave Mbuusi the drinks and make a thorough investigation instead of dragging him into the alleged murder.
“The people Mbuusi worked with to steal my money are from the nearby car depots and they are the same people who gave them the acid because they wanted to kill the evidence (Mbuusi) that would pin them; I think in a way this whole thing goes back to intrigue on the part of my opponents,” Kanyanja added.
Mbuusi’s relatives had refused to bury him but yielded upon police promise that his body would be exhumed if the taken samples fail to produce required results.