New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: Army Apologizes Over Killer Soldier's Actions

The Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) has apologized for the grisly shooting by one of its soldiers killing three women and fatally injuring another man.

Lance corporal Herbert Rwakihembo of Military Police attached to Luzira Military barracks gunned-down three women on Monday at around 8:00pm in Kisenyi III, Luzira, Nakawa Division, a Kampala suburb.

A boda boda rider Ali Ssali operating at Luzira stage survived the gruesome ordeal sustaining a deep bullet wound on his right thigh. He is currently admitted at Doctors Clinic in Luzira.

UPDF identified the deceased victims as Irene Namayumba from Bugerere district, wife of the assailant, Loyce Kawendeke a resident of Kisenyi III and Idah Nalongo Nassolo, both friends to Namayumba.

UPDF spokesman, Col. Felix Kulayigye condemned the killing saying Rwakihembo will be arraigned before the Division Court Marshal next week.

"Even in the face of provocation, no one has a right to end other people's live, that is taking the law in own hands and it is un acceptable," Kulayigye said in a statement.

"We sincerely regret this incident thus, to assure the people of Luzira of justice, the court shall sit at the crime scene in conformity with our long tested practice. Our hearts go to the families of those murdered women, may their souls rest in eternal peace," Kulayigye said.

Col. Moses Ssentongo, the UPDF Chief Political Commissar, said the force would cover all the burial costs for the deceased. UPDF will also pay the medical bill for the treatment of Bavalawa who will later be transferred to Bombo Military hospital for comprehensive medical care.

Col. Ssentongo made the revelation during a reconciliatory meeting between security forces and the leaders of Kisenyi III at Luzira prisons.

Also present at the meeting were Military Police Commandant Lt. Col. Moses Kirikiriza and Nakawa division Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Hajat Faridah Kibowa among others.

UPDF intelligence revealed that the assailant gunned-down his wife and her two friends over family squabbles that had characterised the family in the last two months.

On the fateful day at a round 11:00am, Rwekihembo reportedly warned his wife that he would shoot her and her lover if he ever found them together.

According to Frank Kiguli, an eye witness the culprit that evening found his wife with her friends together with Ssali gossiping, he warned Ssali to move out of the salon but the boda boda rider declined and mocked Rwakihemboprompting him to open fire killing the three women instantly and injuring the boda boda rider.

Military police rushed to the crime scene, disarmed the culprit and apprehended him. He is currently detained at Makindye military Barracks in Kampala. Police took the body of the three women to Mulago referral hospital for post-mortem.

Nassolo is survived by six children.

Col. Ssentongo said the culprit will be charged with aggravated murder which carries a sentence of 70 years in military court martial. UPDF will also raise Namayumba's four-month old child.

Kulayigye noted that efforts were being made to contact the families of the other two deceased women to work out burial arrangements.

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