A woman who sued the Government over the shooting of her husband by Policemen leading to his death in 2008 has been awarded sh25m compensation by the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC).
A tribunal sitting at the commission's Jinja office presided over by Commissioner Fauzat Mariam Wangadya, ordered Government to pay Salima Akia Atan the money as general damages for violation of her husband Rashid Atan's right to life.
"The sh25m will carry interest at court rate with effect from August 23, 2013 until full payment is made," Wangadya stressed in her judgement dated August 24, 2012.
Akia, 47, a resident of Adal village in Apopong sub-county, Pallisa district, sued the Attorney General in June 2008 accusing the Police of killing her husband.
In her complaint Akia said A Police officer identified only as Mugwa attached to Apopong Police post accompanied by eight colleagues, all armed with guns, stormed their home on June 8, 2008 at 2.00am, to arrest Atan following an assault case lodged against him by one Tukei.
She added that the Policemen ordered Atan to open the door but he did not comply forcing them to kick it open and entered. She said as Atan complied with a directive to move out of the house, Mugwa shot him in the right hip.
"He fell down but they put him onto their vehicle and took him to Pallisa hospital from where he was referred to Mbale regional referral hospital but died on the way," she said.
Wangadya noted that a postmortem report by Dr. Clement Kirya stated that Atan died due to hemorrhagic shock as a result of a gunshot wound in the right hip joint.
She noted that despite Mugwa's reasoning that his shooting was not intended to kill but stop Atan from escaping, the act was uncalled for.
"I accept the evidence of the respondent that the deceased attacked and assaulted the policemen and thereafter attempted to escape through the window. But the fatal shooting of Atan was not the only option available, it was avoidable," Wangadya said.
"The shooting of Atan was unjustifiable, unnecessary, reckless and unlawful. His eventual death was avoidable. The actions of the Policemen amounted to violation of Atan's right to life," she said.
Wangadya observed that Atan who was aged 41 years at the time of his death was a self-employed rice vendor in Pallisa and had four wives with sixteen children to cater for.
In her judgment, Wangadya explained that the money should be divided amongst 20 people that depended on Atan for support, with Akia getting sh4m, Josephine Acham Atan sh3m and the rest get sh1m each.