22 November 2017

Uganda: Katakwi Residents Demand Compensation for Student Shot By UPDF

Residents of Ngariam trading centre in Katakwi district want the government to compensate for the death of a 23-year-old student who was shot by UPDF soldiers in an anti-cattle raid ambush on Sunday.

The incident occurred on Sunday around 8 pm near Ngariam trading centre in Katakwi district. The deceased was identified as George William Ojikan, a student of Ngariam Seed Secondary School.

Katakwi District police Commander Peter Oduko says the student was mistaken for a suspected cattle rustler. Similarly, Captain Hebert Arinaitwe, the UPDF 3rd Division spokesperson says that the student defied a directive to identify himself and opted to run away from the soldiers who had mounted an operation in the area.

A police medical report indicates that the deceased was hit on the head leading to internal bleeding.

However, residents questioned the circumstances under which Ojikan was shot with one George Okurut stating that the shooting could have been targeted. Mr Okurut adds that the heavy deployment of military personnel in the area has created a state of fear among residents.

Another resident Joseph Okwii, 34, faults the UPDF for unnecessary shooting adding that the family of the deceased out to be compensated for the tragedy.

However Capt. Arinaitwe says that under the circumstances, UPDF did not err in taking action. He also dismissed the demand for compensation as unwarranted.

"We cannot pay for the compensation but as the UPDF family at 3rd Division, we managed to offer shillings three hundred thousand to cater for the burial expenses. Our authority may sit and resolve on how to support the family but not as compensation,"Capt. Arinaitwe said.

The deceased was buried at their ancestral home at Apeleun village, Ngariam Sub-county on Tuesday.

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