Bushenyi businesswoman dies at Mulago after acid attack at her shop

A photo montage of Ms Julian Bride before and after the acid attack. She succumbed to injuries a week after the attack. PHOTOS/ MILTON BANDIHO  

A 28-year-old businesswoman from Bushenyi District has succumbed to injuries she sustained in an acid attack at her cosmetics shop last week.

Julian Bride died this morning from Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala where she was admitted following the September 14 attack by unidentified woman at her business premises along Bushenyi-Kasese road.

Ms Bride was first rushed to Bushenyi medical centre after the 2:30pm attack by an unidentified female assailant who was wearing a facemask by the time of the attack, according to eyewitnesses.

She was however, referred to Mulago for better medical attention.

Masked assailant

“A woman wearing a face mask came being ridden on a boda boda motorcycle which parked in front of the shop and entered holding a polythene bag containing a jag. We thought she was a customer but as soon as she entered the shop, she poured the content on Bride who was seated on the chair. The assailant immediately ran out and jumped on the waiting boda boda motorcycle before they sped away,” Ms Bride’s co-worker, Damali Atuhaire, told this publication last week.

"My sister has lost the battle. It’s so painful," Bride’s brother, Mr Conrad Amumpaire who was one of the family members attending to her at Mulago ICU told this reporter this morning.

Police are yet to establish the motive of the attack but the hunt for the suspects who are on the run is underway.

"We are still investigating the case and our officers are on ground. We recovered some items like a green jag containing a black liquid substance and this will help us to come to the conclusion of the matter," said Mr Marshal Tumusiime, the greater Bushenyi police spokesperson.

Less attention

Experts say cases of acid violence/acid attack continue to rise in Uganda with less attention focused on containing the vice.

There are said to be more than 400 known or reported cases of acid attacks in the last 10 years whose effect has been severe leaving lifelong scarring, physical disfigurement, and in some cases, permanent disability including blindness and immobility and death. 

“Many survivors spend years in the hospital after their attack, undergoing extensive and expensive treatment and surgeries. About 84 percent of the incidents are related to conflicts in romantic relationships, 10 percent to business conflicts, three percent to property conflicts and three percent are related to other reasons.

"Seventy percent of the victims are women while 30 percent are men.  These attacks continue to skyrocket and if we do not take deliberate measures, many lives will be claimed by this iniquitous act,”  Mr Michael Aboneka, a partner at Thomas & Michael Advocates and the director of Envirogreen Trust Ltd wrote in an article published by Monitor just two days before Bride’s September 14 attack.

According to him, much as the government passed the Toxic Chemicals and Prohibition Act in 2016, the vice still lingers.

“The Act’s main purpose was to domesticate the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and On Their Destruction and less of tackling issues of monitoring and regulating the most common acid-sulfuric acid,” he added.

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