Police probe political activist Barbara Allimadi’s death

Tuesday April 28 2020

Rights activist Barbara Allimadi during an

Rights activist Barbara Allimadi during an interview with Daily Monitor in October 2013. In response to the police assault of FDC activist Ingrid Turinawe, who had her breast squeezed by a police officer, Allimadi and her fellow activists decided to protest while half-naked (inset). Photo by Abubaker Lubowa 

By JOB BWIRE

Police in Kampala are investigating circumstances under which political activist and International Affairs Secretary of the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT), Barbara Allimadi died.
Allimadi, 48, is said to have been discovered dead at around 8pm on Monday in her house in Kiwatule.

The case was reported to Kiwatule police by one Harry Wakibra, a resident of Kiwatule at around 8pm.

“It is alleged that Harry Wakibra reported the discovery of a lifeless body of one Allimadi Ann Barbra, aged 48 years, Coordinator of Alliance for National Transformation, Foreign Envoy and a resident of Kiwatule. The scene was visited by a team of detectives who examined the area and recorded statements from the witnesses around,” Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson Mr Patrick Onyango said on Tuesday.
Mr Onyango said their investigations had revealed that Allimadi lived alone in the house.
“The findings indicates that the deceased was found lying straight on her stomach with straight legs. The lying body shows she could have been in pain during her last breathe. There is no sign of struggle or injuries on the body,” Mr Onyango added in a statement.
The body was taken to City mortuary Mulago for postmortem as investigations continue.
Allimadi became a popular activist in April 2012 when she appeared on different news platforms during the semi -nude protest that followed the televised police assault on political activist Ingrid Turinawe.
In a 2013 article titled The women that fight our wars, this is what she told this publication:

“I had no apology. I understood that not everybody was comfortable with it. I can’t say I was 150 per cent comfortable with it myself. There was no comfortable way of handling the situation. What had been done to Ingrid was dire.”
Before the bra protest, Allimadi’s was not a common face. When Allimadi spoke English, it was with a foreign accent, which was the result of having lived and studied in Britain since her teens. One of 17 children born to the late Otema Allimadi, a former prime minister of Uganda during the Obote II regime between 1980 and 1985, Allimadi attended Nakasero Primary School before joining Gayaza High School for one year prior to her family’s exile to the United Kingdom following the 1985 coup that ousted Dr Milton Obote. Until her return to Uganda, she worked as a network engineer in the UK.

In 2007, she returned for her mother’s funeral, and eventually decided to stay.
“For me, it’s just about dignity; human rights for all of us. I just want to see the right thing done for all of us,” she said in an interview then.
It is the pursuit for justice that had driven her to take part in various public protests, including a march to Luzira prison in opposition of the detention of men arrested on suspicion of participating in the Buganda Kayunga riots.

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