Woman who stole Kigezi church vehicle found with 9 master keys

Shamim Bitariho, a suspected female car thief accused of stealing a vehicle belonging to Kigezi diocese last week was also found in possession of nine vehicle master keys.

Bitariho, a businesswoman and resident of Namungona in Kampala was arrested by Rwampara police in the Rwizi region with a vehicle stolen from the burial of the late Apollo Nyegamahe aka Aponye in Kitaburaza cell, in Muhanga town council in Rukiga district last week.

She was intercepted at the Nyeihanga town council checkpoint at around 10:00 pm after a case of a stolen car was reported at Muhanga police station and other police stations along the Kabale Mbarara highway were notified.  

Elly Maate, the Kigezi region Police spokesperson narrates that Bitariho was captured by the cameras in Rubaare town council where she had parked until night time. 

Maate says the car, Suzuki, registration number UAT 478N, grey in colour, was used by the clergy from Kikugiri archdeaconry in Kabale to attend the burial of the late Aponye but was stolen by a thief using master keys and driven away from the burial heading towards Ntungamo road. 

He says on reaching Rubaare town council after 15 minutes, cameras captured the vehicle heading towards Mbarara. Maate says the police ICT department was involved in the search and the suspect together with a man whom the cameras in Ntungamo captured were seen heading to Mbarara-Kampala road, noting that since police in the Rwampara district were informed, they mounted a checkpoint along the road. 

“When they reached our checkpoint at Nyamukana they were stopped but refused to stop, drove through forcefully and the officer there had to quickly inform the police in Nyeihanga which also mounted another checkpoint that intercepted the vehicle that was being driven by the suspect – Shamim Bitariho,” said Maate.    

Maate says Bitariho is believed to be a habitual car robber, noting that on the search in the vehicle exhibits that included nine master keys, five sticks of marijuana, Shs 500,000 cash, and 2 trays of eggs were recovered. Rev Milton Nkurunungi the diocesan secretary says that they have since recorded statements with police on how the vehicle was stolen.

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