Police have arrested a Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) soldier for allegedly shooting dead a boy believed to be about 12 years of age.
The boy, whose names were unknown by press time, was shot in the back on Monday following chaos that marred a football match between Byendha FC and Super Eagles.
The highly-billed game that was organized by Iganga Municipality MP Peter Mugema to mark the New Year at Saza Grounds in Iganga, had Shs4 million at stake for the winning team.
In the run-up to the match, police, assisted by the army, had deployed heavily as thousands of fans of either team turned up to support and partake of the legislator’s money.
However, Busoga East Police Spokesperson, James Mubi, said the match that started well with Super Eagles leading by one goal in the first half, turned chaotic in the second half when Byendha FC equalized but the linesman adjudged the scorer to have been offside and cancelled the goal.
“When the goal was disallowed, Byendha FC supporters stormed the pitch to attack the referees but were restrained by security and in the ensuing scuffle, a UPDF soldier who was hit by a stone, accidentally shot the 12-year-old boy,” Mr Mubi said and declined to reveal the name of the soldier. He however, said he is attached to Magamaga Barracks.
According to Julius Waiswa, an eyewitness, the deceased was shot from a distance of about 100 metres from the pitch as the soldier pursued an unidentified man who had reportedly pelted stones at him.
“As the scuffle ensued, the deceased started running to safety as the soldier pursued a male assailant who had reportedly hit him with a stone, while directly pointing his gun at him. Unfortunately, the bullet accidentally hit the innocent boy,” Mr Waiswa told Daily Monitor.
When the gun fell silent, the deceased was found lying in a pool of blood. Mr Mubi said the soldier is detained at Iganga Police station as investigations continue.
By press time, the unclaimed body of the deceased was still lying at Iganga Hospital mortuary.