By Charles Etukuri
The Police have started investigating a case of alleged indecent assault involving popular Ugandan musician Sheebah Karungi.
This was after Karungi formally made her complaint at the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID), the Police said on Tuesday (May 17).
The development comes less than a week after the musician released a video in which she said she had been molested shortly before going on stage to perform.
She claimed the incident happened in Entebbe on the night of May 14.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said Police contacted the music star immediately after she had released the video, and that she offered to report at CID on Tuesday to tell her side of the incident.
“CID has instituted inquiries into the alleged incident of indecent assault against Sheebah Karungi, a popular music artist, after she formally made her complaint at CID headquarters on Tuesday,” said Enanga.
“During the interaction with the CID officers, Sheebah revealed the details and the individual who was involved and the related circumstances,” he added.
Enanga said that in her complaint, Karungi mentioned the identity of the suspect and that she refuted the ongoing speculation in sections of the media that it was veteran journalist Andrew Mwenda.
“In view of the above, a team of detectives has commenced investigations on the matter to ensure justice for the victim,” said Enanga.
“We do thank Sheebah for taking the courage to report the matter and assure the public that, as Uganda Police, we take matters of gender-based violence seriously.”
The Police spokesperson said the main suspect would be summoned at the most opportune time.
‘Why not seek justice’?
Karungi’s video, in which she speaks of a suspect attempting to have sex with her, went viral, sparking speculation over the identity of the suspect.
In the footage, the 32-year-old musician claims she was in her car resting as she waited to be called to the stage.
Her claim that the suspect is an influential figure, with security detail, got some to point the finger in Mwenda’s direction. This accusation prompted the outspoken journalist to release a long post on social media in his defence.
He did not mince his words.
In his article, Mwenda said he found it strange that a woman of Karungi’s caliber could be violated in such a humiliating and painful experience, and instead of reporting the offender to the Police, she took the matter to social media.
“To gain what? Sympathy? Why not seek justice through the Police and the courts? In any case, she could have pursued both: sympathy in the public sphere and justice in the courts of law,” he wrote.
“I have never in my life met this Sheebah and had never even heard of her until this video came out and allegations were made against me. When I watched the video, I gave her the benefit of the doubt believing she is a decent person.
“I expected her, seeing how viral these allegations have gone, to come out and say I am being wrongly accused since I have never met her. She has kept stone silent,” said Mwenda.
Mwenda said he tried to contact Karungi, but to no avail.