Landlord burns self to death over financial challenges

Friday August 14 2020

A Nakulabye landlord has become the latest victim of ‘self-immolation’ following similar cases in the recent months.

Andrew Mukiibi, 28, a resident of Nakulabye Zone 5 in Kampala City, set himself on fire and died over challenges suspected to be related to finances.

The incident happened on Thursday afternoon at about 2:30pm.

According to a police officer at the scene, who preferred anonymity since he is not allowed to speak to the press, the now deceased Mukiibi, picked a jerrycan full of petrol from his car at around lunch time and went with it in one of the toilets at his rentals.

The officer said the neighbours did not take keen interest in what he was going to do with the jerrycan until they heard him crying out loud.

"When they rushed to his rescue, they found him engulfed in fire. By the time, they put out the fire, he had sustained severe burns and died on the spot. The police later picked the body and took it,” the officer told Daily Monitor.

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Incidents of people attempting or actually burning themselves started to emerge since the government imposed a lockdown in its efforts to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus in the country. Whereas it was done in ‘good faith’, the lockdown left several Ugandans in financial distress as it caught many by surprise.

A deputy head teacher in Masuliita, Wakiso District, set himself ablaze and died last week reportedly due to financial challenges. Another teacher burnt himself to death in Eastern Uganda when he failed to get money to feed his family.

The police officers' attempts to understand why Mukiibi took his life hadn't yielded results since deceased's wife, whom they wanted to talk to, collapsed and was still unconscious in hospital, where she was rushed by press time. But some neighbours told police that the deceased had financial challenges.

When contacted, the Kampala Metropolitan Police deputy spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire, said he had heard about incident but needed to get facts from the officers at the scene.

By press time, he hadn't yet responded.

Last week, a 40-year old man burnt himself and died after a woman, who was his neighbour, rejected him in Masanafu, a city suburb.

In July, a man set his house on fire killing his baby and also injured himself and the wife after suspecting her of having a love affair with another man.

A vendor in Kazo in Western Uganda also burnt himself and sustained injuries after he was given a traffic express penalty ticket.

A taxi driver attempted to burn himself at Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) headquarters, but his suicide attempt was foiled by police officers who arrested him.
He was protesting government regulations of taxis, which he said had affected their business yet they were already facing financial distress following the lockdown.

In July still, a boda boda rider set himself on fire and died after his motorcycle was impounded by police officers who later allegedly solicited for a bribe. The officers were later arrested and prosecuted in the police disciplinary court.

abagala@ug.nationmedia.com

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