By Andrew Irumba
Luzira Maximum Prisons: Like we broke his release story this week, here is the latest. Today, Saturday, September 11 2021 will forever remain in the family calendar of former Tooro Kingdom Prime Minister John Sanyu Katuramu Amooti as the happiest day ever. This is because, it’s the day the Tooro business magnet broke the chains of Luzira maximum prisons, and he is finally a FREE MAN after 20 years in incarceration!
“Yeah, true your man is free at last! He is actually in office signing out, and all those other procedures which should ideally take a few minutes. He should be done with everything and out by 10am, I’m sure,” our highly placed spy within prisons whispered to our reporter via phone.
According to close sources, Katuramu will first spend some good, quality time with his close family at his palatial home in Mbuya, and thereafter will travel to his motherland Fort Portal, where it’s said, he plans to live most of his remaining life, looking after his cows.
Katuramu, who has been serving a life sentence (20 years), was in September 2001 convicted by Justice John Bosco Katutsi for the murder of Tooro Prince Charles Happy Kiijanangoma and his bodyguard Steven Kaganda. The court found that on March 25, 1999, Katuramu ﬁnanced the murder of the prince and his bodyguard at Palace View Bar in Fort Portal, Kabarole District.
Katuramu was sentenced alongside his nephew Patrick Kwezi, who was convicted for transmitting the cash to the killers and Alex Twinomugisha, a former UPDF Kadogo who pulled the trigger.
Our sources have also disclosed that both Patrick Kwezi and Alex Twinomugisha have too been released today. Kwezi had initially been jailed in Luzira but was a few years ago transferred to Kigo prisons after he apparently developed sharp misunderstandings with jailbird Katto Kajubi over city property, that’s according to our close spy within prisons.
But Who Is John Sanyu Katuramu Amooti?
Until early 1993 when the Omukama of Tooro, Patrick Mathew Olimi Kaboyo appointed him the Omuhikirwa, (prime minister) Tooro Kingdom, John Sanyu Katuramu Amooti was a very quiet businessman who rarely came into the limelight.
He quietly came and set up businesses in Kasese soon after completing his Diploma course at the National College of Business Studies in Nakawa, now Makerere University Business School.
He did his O’level at Mvara Secondary School in Arua and completed A level at Nyakasura School in Fort Portal.
In Kampala, he was only known in the business circles. By the time he was appointed prime minister, he boasted of a large business empire, including Give and Take Forex Bureau, which was located at Uganda House in Kampala, fuel stations both in Uganda and abroad, that’s according to his close friends, wholesale shops and was also one of the biggest coffee exporters at the time. He also had real estate businesses. Katuramu actually helped a lot during the NRA revolution struggle.
“He funded the struggle unreservedly with his money from Coffee and timber he used to deal in Congo. That man was in charge of all timber and coffee stores in Western Uganda during the war, and the bambi he supported us in return,” one of the former guerilla commanders commented.
Katuramu’s fortunes in Kabarole breathed new life when he met Princess Elizabeth Bagaya, a cousin to his wife Gertrude. Bagaya visited them and eventually introduced Katuramu to Kaboyo and the two became friends.
When the monarchy was restored in 1993, the Omukama regained his throne and appointed his friend Katuramu prime minister. Katuramu suddenly became a household name in Tooro, becoming the king’s confidante.
Oftentimes, there was talk that Katuramu was using his money to fund some of the kingdom activities.
Because of his closeness with the king then, when he died in 1995, members of the royal family and kingdom officials retained him as the prime minister and was also named one of the regents of the new three-year-old new king, Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru.