On June 1, Sgt Khalid Koboyoit came face to face with every bodyguard’s greatest outgoing fear, when his principal, former minister of Works and Transport, Gen Katumba Wamala, was attacked and shot in Kisaasi, a Kampala suburb.

It was time to, even by putting his own life in the line of fire, do what he was trained and deployed for.

Assailants riding on motorcycles on that morning sprayed Gen Katumba’s official car with more than 50 bullets claiming the lives of his daughter,  Brenda Nantongo, and his driver Haruna Kayondo.

The former army chief survived with gunshot injuries to both arms while his bodyguard came out unhurt.

Coming out unscathed while his boss was bleeding profusely continues to haunt him, but his principal has hailed his bravery that saved his life.

Speaking to Daily Monitor, Sgt Khalid said when they were first hit, like his boss, he thought something had rammed into their car.

In a split second, Koboyoit said the driver was already hit, and so was Brenda Gen Katumba then ducked below his seat.

“I just heard some sounds and I asked myself what is happening to our car, already my driver had been shot. The bullets came very fast and that is when I knew they were shooting at us,”  Sgt Khalid said.

“That is when I picked my gun, I got out and I saw behind another [motorcycle] approaching, lifting the gun to shoot us. They were two  [motorcycles] but they had given themselves a distance. So when I shot those behind, they turned very fast and left. At the moment, I did not know whether Mzee [Gen Katumba] was still alive or not. I came to realize that Mzee was still alive when he opened for himself the car door and I had to help him,” he added.

Sgt Khalid said the first rapid shots had brought the car to a sudden halt.

Gen Katumba told mourners on June 3 that his daughter had been killed by the third or fourth bullet.

Sgt Khalid, who had been seated in the co-drivers seat, said the shooters targeted most of the bullets on the right side of the vehicle because it had stopped near a perimeter wall, limiting access to the side where they managed to take cover.

Some bullets penetrated the vehicle through the behind windscreen


The motorcycle would then proceed ahead of them and park at a distance. Khalid said one of the shooters then returned on foot, shooting rapidly.

“He came shooting very fast. Then Mzee told me those people are coming back. I was also seeing but Mzee told me, Khalid, these people are going to kill us, they are coming back. Then I had to respond [return fire]. The assailant then retreated. I did not want to put myself in the open because I did not know if the motorcycle behind had gone or would come back,” Sgt Khalid said.

“He came for a second time, and again I fired so when I went to the other side to get a target, he jumped on the boda boda (Motorcycle Taxi) and they left,” he said.

While commenting on the incident, President Museveni wondered why the guard had shot in the air instead of aiming at the assailants.

“I shot, I shot, I shot. I do not know how many times I shot but I shot. I had a big gun. We were behind the car,” Khalid said.

Khalid would then hide Gen Katumba in a makeshift shelter for fear of the assailants regrouping and returning with much force.

“I was still watching the situation Mzee also came back from where I had kept [hid] him and that is when we jumped on the boda boda, they [boda boda riders] said please let us take you to the hospital,” he said.

“God helped me. I was able to see those ones coming from behind so I shot…,” he added.
Sgt Koboyoit has remained to guard Gen Katumbaa and he has been with him on the last two public appearances.

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