Wednesday this week marked six months since Bwaise based boxer, Isaac Ssenyange alias Zebra Mando, was shot dead by soldiers under the Joint Ant-Terrorism Task Force –JATT.
Zebra met his death on December 30, 2020, at St Francis Zone, Bwaise III Parish, Kawempe division, his death came after soldiers moving in three Toyota Hiace vehicles commonly known as Drone raided the area around 11:45 pm, blocked all roads and access routes leading to St Francis Zone.
Security cameras captured the Drones driving into the area and leaving shortly after Zebra was killed. Initially, it was claimed that unknown people had gunned down the boxer after raiding his home. However, in his January 1st, 2021 address, President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni revealed government security officers he deployed to search for people being mobilised to wreak havoc in Kampala had shot the pugilist. Museveni explained that he had deployed exceedingly skilled soldiers in Kampala who had been facing off with the rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the Democratic Republic of Congo –DR Congo and Al-Shabaab in Somalia.
“This is because of the weakness of police. These units (soldiers) started operating around Kampala and other areas. They were able to deal with some hardcore criminals who had turned some parts of Kampala into a no-go area. On December 24, the same unit operated around Nakivubo channel, which had become a no-go area for police. These are operations against people who are misled by corrupt, weak police and violent politicians,” Museveni said.
He revealed that UPDF would conduct investigations and bring those behind Zebra’s death to book. When asked about the progress of the investigations, UPDF spokesperson, Brig Flavia Byekwaso called for patience, saying the report on Zebra’s death will be availed at an appropriate time.
However, Zebra’s colleagues have voiced concern about the slow progress of the investigation and arrest of those behind his murder. Badru Lusambya, a professional boxer said Zebra was their voice and provided for each of them with the little he had. Lusambya revealed that during the first lockdown in 2020, he almost succumbed to pneumonia but Zebra raised funds to clear his medical bills at Nsambya hospital in addition to providing for his family when he was almost helpless.
Isaac Masembe, another boxer asked president Museveni to fulfil his promise to investigate and prosecute Zebra’s killers. Masembe said that he misses Zebra’s voice for all boxers regardless of their level.
Both Lusambya and Masembe said they have missed so many international and local boxing tournaments, which was not the case before Zebra was killed. They say Zebra had unique skills of grooming boxers and mobilizing resources for tournaments.