Brutal killings, school fires dominate central region news stories in 2019

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  • Daily Monitor published several stories from central region throughout the year. Here are some of those that made headlines.

Brutal killings and school fires are the top incidents that made news in central region in 2019.
Of the 11 school fires recorded across the country this year, at least nine were from central region.

It all began on February 21 when fire, which gutted a dormitory at St Jude Primary School in Nakasongola District, claimed the life of Favor Itaro, a Primary One pupil. Itaro died of suffocation, according to a postmortem report released by police. Seven pupils were injured. District authorities closed the school for one week.

The ill-fated dormitory had burglar proof windows, which could have made it difficult for the pupils to escape the fire.

On March 20, another fire gutted a boys’ dormitory at St James Secondary School in Mubende District, destroying property worth millions of shillings.

On July 25, students of Namirembe Hillside High School in Kitetika, Wakiso District, were left in shock after a fire gutted one of their dormitories, destroying property worth millions of shillings.

On September 18, a dormitory at Happy Times SS, Masajja in Wakiso District was gutted by fire, which destroyed pupils’ property such as suitcases and mattresses.

Three days later, on September 21, another fire gutted a dormitory at Kyotera Infant and Primary School. The fire started at the door of the boys’ dormitory and quickly spread to the rest of the facility. Students’ belongings such as mattresses, shoes, suit cases, clothes and books were burnt to ashes.

Assessment. The director of Kyotera Infant and Primary School, Mr Pascal Katongole (second left), with district officials, including the DEO, Mr Mathias Kigoye (with neck tie), inspect the burnt dormitory on September 20. FILE PHOTO

Other schools affected by fire in central region included Sembabule Parents Primary School in Sembabule District Kisoso Parents School, Lwengo , Najjanankumbi City Academy in Makindye Division, Kampala, and St Anthony Sembabule Roman Catholic Primary School in Sembabule District.
The latter suffered two fire incidents in one week.

Brutal killings
Amid the school fires, the region also experienced several brutal killings, some emanating from land wrangles and robbery, while others were mysterious. The crimes persisted despite assurance from security agencies that they had strengthened motorised and foot patrols after a spate of attacks on residents’ homes by machete-wielding assailants in 2018.

The recent brutal killing took place about three weeks ago in Nakasongola District when six people lost their lives in four days in Wabigalo Village, Wabinyonyi Sub-county.

On December 5, Missachi Mawanda, 10, Amos Ssekanza, 7, Judith Aduru, 33, and Loziyo Matovu, 80, were beheaded by an assailant. On December 8, Fred Bulega and Fred Mujuni were beheaded in the same village near Wabigalo Church of Uganda Primary School. Police later arrested some suspects who are yet to appear in court.

In Mpigi District, at least 10 people were mysteriously killed. On March 18, Nicolas Muyingo,10, and her sister Peace Nalweyiso, 12, who had gone missing from their home in Kagala- Gayaza Village, Mpigi District, were found dead.

The children, who had been living with their grandmother Rosemary Nakintu in Nkozi Trading Centre, went missing on March 10 after they were sent to fetch water at about 6pm.

Mr Edrisa Kalumba, a resident of Nkozi, said the deceased’s bodies were discovered in Namagongolo forest by two men who had gone to collect firewood. Some of the deceased’s body parts were found missing.

On August 8, four children and their mother were found dead in a rented house in Nantwala Village, Kiringente Sub-County, Mpigi District. Police investigations revealed that the deceased died of food poisoning.

On September 23, Godfrey Asiimwe, alias Brown, a prominent milk vendor, was killed by unknown assailants and his body dumped in a trench on Kampala-Masaka highway.

Asiimwe used to supply milk to residents of Jjandira Cell, Kayabwe Town and Mpigi District.
Brown’s killing came a day after a body of a boda boda cyclist was discovered near the Uganda Equator mark at Kayabwe. Residents said thugs killed the deceased and took off with his motorcycle.

On October 11, two suspected boda boda motorcycle thieves were killed. According to Ibrah Kajubi, a boda boda cyclist at Kabasanda Trading Centre, two men attacked two of their colleagues at Kabasanda Boda-boda Stage in Butambala District, with machete and hammers before they stole two motorcycles.

On August 28, Maria Nagirinya, 28, a project manager at Community Integrated Development Initiative (CIDI), a Kampala-based not-for-profit organisation, and her driver Ronald Kitayimbwa were abducted at the former’s gate in Busega-Kibumbiro, Rubaga Division, and their bodies later found dumped in a desolate place off Mukono-Kayunga road in Mukono District.

Nagirinya had reportedly hired Kitayimbwa to chauffer her home that fateful night following a visit to a friend. Four suspects were arrested in connection to the killing and have since been arraigned in court on charges of murder, kidnap and aggravated robbery.

Eight days later, Joshua Nteireho Rushegyera, a former employee of the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority, and his friend, Merina Tumukunde, were brutally killed near Nambigirwa Bridge on the Entebbe Expressway. Nteireho was shot dead near a vehicle he had been driving while Tumukunde was shot inside the car.

In Masaka Sub-region, the situation was not different. At least 16 people were killed under unclear circumstances.

On January 2, Pasikaziya Nayiga, a resident of Kiteredde Village, Bigasa Sub-county in Bukomansimbi District, was found dead in her home. Some family members pointed an accusing finger at her husband with whom they had had a longstanding disagreement.

On February 5, Mariam Kabagairika, 70, a resident of Nseese in Miaoli Sub-county in Sembabule District, was killed by unknown people. Preliminary police investigations indicated that the assailants killed the old woman with machetes.

On April 22, Lawrence Gyagwe, a proprietor of a retail shop in Kirumba Trading Centre, Masaka Municipality, was shot dead by robbers in his shop.

On May 1, Teddy Nabadda, 31, a resident of Kafumu Village, in Matete Sub-county, Sembabule District, was brutally killed by assailants over unknown reasons.
Goreth Mukabayiro, a resident of Kabusirabo Village in Lwengo Rural Sub-county, Lwengo District, was on May 29 killed and her body dumped in her garden by unknown people.

On July 19, Isaac Sseruyange, the deputy head teacher of Greenhill SS-Kyamulibwa in Kalungu District, was killed by unknown people and his body dumped in Kyanjale Village on Masaka-Kyotera road where it was recovered by residents two days later.

In the neighbouring Rakai District, Eva Mukamugema, a resident of Kiluli Village in Kifamba Sub-county, on September 3 killed her six- month-old baby over unknown reasons. According to residents, Mukamugema developed a mental illness after giving birth to the baby boy.

Mr Herman Ssentongo, the Masaka Resident District Commissioner, said many robberies and killings recorded in Greater Masaka area were coordinated by wrong elements residing in the area.

“This is why we have to enforce the neighborhood watch strategy. Some assailants first settle in those areas for some months before executing their heinous acts,” he said.

On May 17, police arrested two Congolese nationals over alleged involvement in separate armed robberies in Greater Masaka region. The suspects were reportedly in possession of forged Uganda National Identity Cards. One of them was working as a cook at a primary school in Nyendo, a Masaka Municipality suburb.

Mr Ssentongo said the suspects and others still at large staged about 10 armed robberies in the area between February and May, leaving about five people dead and at least 15 others injured.

On September 6, residents in Lyantonde District woke up to the sad news of three family members that had been killed inside their house. The deceased were Justus Ssendege, the head of the family, his pregnant wife Evelyn Naleba, who died shortly after reaching Lyantonde hospital, and Robert Mubiru, his cousin.

The incident occurred in Nakasozi Village, Kinuka Sub-county in Lyantonde District.
Nearly a month later on October 21, another family in the neighbouring Kaliiro Sub-county was attacked and three family members killed.

Francis Rwabagabo, 60, and his wife Kellen Nakato, 38, were shot in their home in Kaliiro Town. Hours later, the assailants raided Rwabagabo’s in-law Leokadia Kizza’s home in Kaliiro III Village, located two kilometres away, and also shot her dead.

More bloodshed
On August 5, Bosco Lutalo, a resident of Kooki Ward C in Lyantonde District, was found lying in a pool of blood on the roadside near his shop, Bosco General Merchandise, on Kanya Street in Lyantonde Town Council.

Between August and September, at least four boda boda cyclists were killed in Mubende District and their motorcycles stolen.

This prompted boda boda cyclists to stage a demonstration over rampant murders and theft of their motorcycles. The rioters also broke into shops and houses of the people in Kasambya Town whom they suspected to be behind the crime. The shops and houses were looted and some set ablaze.

On October 24, Merabu Kasasira, 35, a resident of Lyeru Village, Lukerere Parish in Kiziba Sub-county, Rakai District, was killed by her estranged lover only identified as Nathan over unknown reasons.

On November 6, John Mpagi, a resident of Mizindalo Village in Kitanda Sub-county, Bukomansimbi District, was killed by a mob on accusations of stealing a motorcycle. The motorcycle belonged to Abdul Mubiru, a resident of the same village.

On November 7, Peter Lukwago, a resident of Kasabukenge Village in Byakabanda Sub-county, Rakai District, was killed for reportedly stealing a sachet of waragi, a local gin. Residents blamed Lukwago’s death on his brother whom he had a disagreement.

In the neigbouring Lwengo, unknown assailants on April 24 killed Eric Ngabo, a former district accountant, and dumped his body by the roadside on Masaka-Mbarara highway. Ngabo was strangled to death on his way from Mbirizi Trading Centre to the district headquarters.

In Kassanda District, Ernest Bizimaana , a resident of Kyakatebe Village in Nalutuntu Sub-county, was on October 8 was hacked to death over land wrangles.

Bizimaana was attacked by machete-wielding men from his garden. They grabbed him and beat him up. He sustained severe injuries and died two days later.

In Mubende, Dan Kibenga, a resident of Katawa B West Division, Mubende Municipality, was on September 14 discovered dead.

Kibengo, who was a boda boda rider, had reportedly been hired by a passenger to take him to Madudu Sub-county.

Federesi Bukirwa , 86, a resident of Lwemivubo Village in Katente Parish, Kiyuni Sub-county, was murdered inside her house on September 11.According to local leaders, Bukirwa was attacked in the night by unknown people who beat her using a club and there after they made off with Shs25,000 she had obtained under the elderly grant.

On January 29, Jalia Namubiru, 48, a prominent business woman in Mubende Municipality, was burnt to death by unknown people. She went missing from her shop two days before her death to meet her husband, Moses Kigundu, in Mueete Village.

Kiggundu later on returned, claiming that Namubiru had gone missing. He was later arrested, arraigned in court and remanded to Muyinayina Farm Prison.

On May 8, Mark Judato was burnt to death in a fire that gutted their house. The deceased, a former resident of Kasenyi Caltex Village, was reportedly left in the house by his mother, Ms Claire Kiconco, who had gone to buy milk.

Gladys Musimenta, 26, a resident of Kigisu Village in Kasambya Sub-county, Mubende District, was on May 12 was killed by her husband over infidelity. The husband reportedly stabbed Musimenta in the stomach using a knife and later cut the hands and legs into pieces claiming that the deceased was having an affair with a boda boda cyclist.

According to Mr Julius Ahimbisibwe, the Mubende District police commander, most of the murder cases reported in the area this year are still being investigated. “I am still new here but what I know the criminal investigations department is still investigating most of those cases,” he said.

Compiled by Dan Wandera, Al-Mahdi Ssenkabirwa Josephine Nnabbale, Paul Ssekandi, Eve Muganga & Malik Fahad Jjingo