What you need to know:
- Ochola, a daughter to retired police officer Christ Otim Erik from Otuke District, was a first-year student pursuing a Bachelor of Arts with Education and awaiting to sit for her end of second semester exams.
Patricia Ochola Erik, a student from the College of Education and External Studies at Makerere University, was found dead yesterday in her room at one of the university halls of residence.
Ochola, a daughter to a retired police officer Christ Otim Erik from Otuke District, was a first year student pursuing a bachelor’s of Arts with Education, and awaiting to sit for her end of second semester exams that commence next week.
While sources that preferred anonymity to speak freely said the late Ochola was found dead in her room at Africa Hall, the university management gave a conflicting account when they said she died on arrival at the university hospital.
The university now awaits a postmortem report from Mulago hospital to ascertain the cause of her death.
Accounts from residents
According to Ms Sharifah Kiranda, one of the residents at Africa Hall, said she learned about Ochola’s death yesterday in the morning.
“She died in the night and by the time she was taken to the hospital she had already passed on,” Ms
Ms Kiranda added that Ochola had epilepsy, a condition that she thinks could have been the cause of her death.
Another resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “At around 7am, I was at my block opposite Patricia’s and I saw people moving up and down...When I asked my colleague who was coming from there, she told me that there is a student who had died in the room. By the time I reached there, the place was already a no-go zone area.”
The source added: “I heard from students that her roommates also learned about it in the morning after they had tried to wake her up. When her roommates saw her condition, they immediately called their colleagues and warden who also called the ambulance to take her to the university hospital but she had already died.”
Ms Grace Nalugya Kabuye, the Warden of the Africa Hall, also confirmed the deceased might have succumbed to epilepsy.
“The relatives have intimated to us a history of epilepsy and that she was on treatment. We grieve with the family and pray for the soul of the deceased to rest in peace,” she said in her November 30 condolence letter addressed to students.
Ms Winifred Kabumbuli, the Dean of Students, in her condolence message to her family, said: “She was an industrious student and very active at her college where she was the coordinator of her literature class.”
The institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, also joined the mourners and extended his condolences to the family and students.
“Death has robbed a promising leader. I pray that her soul will rest in peace,” Prof Nawangwe said in an interview with this publication.
The institution’s guild president Mr Robert Maseruka, conveyed his condolence message to the students’ fraternity and the family.
“It’s on such a sad note and as we prepare to sit our exams that we have lost such a soul in her first year. In this trying moment we stand in solidarity with friends and family. We pray that God may strengthen them. May the soul of the gallant Makererean rest in peace,” he said.
Mr Joel Awitong Olang Erik, the clan chief and uncle of the deceased, told this publication by telephone that Ochola’s death is a big blow to the entire family.
“I just got news on social media at around 11am and it put me down and the entire family. It is very sad. May her soul rest in peace,” Mr Olang said
“I knew her as somebody who had no problems. Last week, I was with my daughter, she came to my home and there was nothing presenting as sickness” he added.
According to him, the family is making preparations to get the body from Mulago hospital to Barjobi sub-county in Otuke District for burial arrangements.