Freddie David Egesa: The private crime investigator


The private crime investigator

Freddie David Egesa: The private crime investigator

Kampala, Uganda | AGNES E NANTABA | Private investigation remains scarcely known to majority Ugandans not because there are no private investigators but rather due to the thinking that it is the job of the government security agencies. But this is a job that Fred Egesa has done for the last 24 years and he is still going. He has kept at his childhood dream of pursuing justice. “The private crime investigator“.

“I have done many cases where I am not paid because I love to pursue justice,” he says adding that little was known about private investigation until he hit the biggest case of the time – the murder of Warren Bantariza in 1994.

Egesa says he picked the trait from his mother, Jane Nansubuga, who was always pursuing justice.

“She was very kind and went into the details of a case to seek justice and would only punish after confirming the crime and the criminal.”

“I look at investigation as a way of learning and the search for answers to many puzzles and questions,” he says.

He has investigated several cases; including one where it was alleged to have a hand in the murder of then Bukomansimbi District Woman MP, Susan Namaganda in 2015, until the murderer was arrested in Ssese Islands.

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But even with the more than two decades in practice, Egesa maintains that the world is too big for private investigation thus the need for more; especially in Uganda. And to him many cases are handled by learners on the job while others are unattended; which creates a backlog.

Unlike before, in Uganda today there is a statute under the Private Security Organisation’s Act under the police which guides the work of people like Egesa. And with this in place, other people have also joined in private investigation.

His work leans more into investigating government officials and undoing cases like frame-ups done by police. He says he saved a man who was falsely accused of killing his own father and had been indicted for trial.

Egesa’s journey dates back to as far as 1981 when he joined the police under an intelligence officers’ programme during Obote II government. It was a special government course that took only about 20 trainees. Two years later, Obote’s government was shaken by power struggles and, Egesa says, he realised that although he had trained so much, he would not be able deliver any form of justice in the circumstances.

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In 1994, he registered and applied for guns, recruited ex-service men from the army and the police under Missing Link Investigators and business started.

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Egesa cites some of the challenges along the way including clashing with security organisations like the Internal Security Organisation.

“The army and other security organisations thought they were monopolies in investigation work but were forced to feel our presence,” Egesa says, “We were fairly read so at times, they would request to look through our files.”

Egesa says private investigation should be considered as supplementary investigation. As a career, it can be an avenue for ex-service men.

“They are very knowledgeable and want to survive so they must be handled carefully because some may even start advising criminals,” he says.

It was not only opposition from government security organizations but family as well. Egesa’s father, George Wilson Egesa Ogoola, tried to stop him for fear that he would be killed for taking on something that involves nosing in people’s lives. Egesa followed his passion and as he prospered, he says he once employed his father to manage the accounts of the company having been a business man and a strong pillar in business.

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Egesa says he has gone through trainings and is a qualified Investigative Specialist. He went to Najjanankumbi Seventh Day Adventist, Kitante Secondary school, and Light College Katikamu Light Secondary School. He is a middle child among the 13 children, was born and raised in Kampala although he is a Samia Mugwe from Busitema. He has been married for more than three decades with children. He envisions retiring after establishing a College for private investigation to off load his knowledge and experience to the young people.

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