By Kweronda Ambrose
Shamim Bitariho, the alleged thief of Diocese of Kigezi vehicle, was apprehended by the police after being found in possession of nine master keys, which she allegedly used to break into and steal the car.
Bitariho, a businesswoman residing in Namungona, Kampala, was arrested by the Rwampara police in the Rwizi region while driving a stolen vehicle. It is suspected that she stole the car during the burial of the late Apollo Nyegamahe in Kitaburaza cell, located in Muhanga town council, Rukiga district.
The arrest took place at approximately 10:00 pm when the authorities received a report of a stolen car at the Muhanga Police Station. Subsequently, other police stations along the Kabale-Mbarara highway were alerted.
According to Elly Maate, the Kigezi region Police spokesperson, Bitariho, who is currently in custody at Muhanga Police Station in Rukiga district, was captured on camera in Rubaare Town Council, where she had parked until nightfall.
Maate explains that the stolen vehicle, a gray Suzuki with registration number UAT 478N, was originally used by clergy members from Kikugiri Archdeaconry in Kabale to attend the burial. However, it was stolen by Bitariho, who used master keys to gain access to the vehicle before driving away from the burial site towards Ntungamo road.
After approximately 15 minutes, the cameras in Rubaare Town Council captured the vehicle heading towards Mbarara.
Maate further reveals that the police ICT department assisted in the investigation. The suspect, along with a man captured on cameras in Ntungamo, was seen heading towards the Mbarara-Kampala road. Once the authorities in the Rwampara district were informed, they established a checkpoint along the route.
“When they reached our checkpoint at Nyamukana, they were signaled to stop but refused and forcefully drove through. The officer on duty immediately alerted the police in Nyeihanga, who set up another checkpoint and successfully intercepted the vehicle being driven by the suspect, Shamim Bitariho,” explains Maate.
Bitariho was promptly arrested and detained at Nyeihanga Police station. A search of the vehicle was conducted before she was transferred to Muhanga Police Station.