The family of former chairperson of Rupa Sub-county in Moroto District, Dan Apollo Loyomo, has finally accepted to receive his body for burial.
Loyomo was killed about six months ago, allegedly by Local Defence Unit (LDU) personnel over cattle wrangles.
The army handed over the body for burial yesterday at the deceased’s ancestral home in Natumukathkwo Village in Moroto Municipality following protracted negotiations with the family.
Lomoyo, a brother to former chief spy David Pulkol, was shot dead on December 17, in Kidepo Village, Nakadeli Parish in Rupa Sub-county where he had reportedly gone to settle a dispute over impounded cattle.
The family then vowed not to bury him until certain conditions were fulfilled by the army that supervises the LDUs. According to Mr Pulkol, the conditions included government taking responsibility of his death, an apology to the family and taking care of the deceased’s 40 children and seven widows.
Other conditions included appointing an independent body to investigate the incident without the involvement of the UPDF 3rd Division and an army court to sit in Moroto during prosecution of the suspects.
Since the incident took place, the army has been keeping the body in their military mortuary in Bugema, Mbale District, for the last six months.
The public reacted by burning the ruling NRM party tickets and T-shirts.
The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), in show of public sympathy, however, terminated the contract for acting 3rd Division commander, Brig Julius Biryabarema, and arrested dozens of soldiers who were involved in the operation that led to the shooting of the LC3 chairman.
Mr Teba Arukol, the family spokesperson, told Daily Monitor in an interview yesterday that the family had come to a mutual understanding with government but declined to give details to the media.
“The truth is that government has taken responsibility for the burial of the late and as we speak right now, UPDF engineering brigade are the ones building the grave, which is a sign that the two parties have come to a mutual understanding,” he said.
But highly placed family source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Daily Monitor that the government had undertaken to take care of the late’s family and pay school dues for the orphans.
The army would also extend start-up capital to the widows to sustain their families.
Mr Pulkol declined interviews with the media.
Maj Peter Mugisa, the UPDF 3rd Division spokesperson, too declined to comment on the matter, saying they are implementing government orders.
Mr Peter Keen Lochap, the Moroto Resident District Commissioner, however, told the media that the government is committed to fulfil its pledges to the deceased’s family.
He said the burial will only be attended by few people due to the current measures to fight Covid-19.
How it happened. Mr Joseph Lokiru, one of the residents of Kidepo Village in Rupa Sub-county, said the LDUs, who are attached to a detach l in Kalosarich, wanted to take away by force impounded animals suspected to have been stolen from the Matheniko of Tororo.
The locals then alerted the deceased to come and intervene before his life was taken away.