A 45-year-old businessman who allegedly set his house on fire, killing his wife and three children following a misunderstanding in Rubanda District in western Uganda has been arrested.
The police spokesman for Kigezi sub region, Mr Elly Maate said the suspect was arrested as he tried to hire a boda-boda motorcycle to escape from Habutobere Village, Butare Parish in Muko Sub-county, Rubanda District where the gruesome incident happened on Saturday at 10:30pm.
“The suspect was arrested on Monday morning at around 4am from his hideout in the bush within his village by the police as he planned to escape using a motorcycle. He is currently in detention at Rubanda police station as inquiries commence after which he will be produced in court for prosecution,” Mr Maate said.
Mr Maate identified the deceased as Lovinah Muheki, 43, and her three children; Edwin Tumworobere, 17, Westlife Akampumuriza,15, and Mariakura Ekinamushabire, 5.
“It’s alleged that the couple has had long-standing family wrangles that forced the man to marry a second wife,” Mr Maate said.
‘’On the fateful day, the suspect was seen at a fuel station buying petrol. When he reached home after 10pm, he locked up all the doors and exit routes, including those of the neighbors. He then poured petrol around the house, burning the family to ashes,” he added.
By the time police arrived to put off the fire, it was too late to save the family. The suspect had also fled the scene.
A case of suspected murder/arson was opened up at Muko Police Station under SD 15/12/06/2021 before police started hunting for the suepct.
The village chairperson, Mr Bernard Mbonabwire, described the incident as unfortunate and rare.
The former chairperson for Muko Sub-county, Mr Herbert Byaruhanga, said in 2017, he reconciled the same couple after they developed a domestic misunderstanding.
“Whereas we have been recording cases of domestic violence in Muko Sub-county, we had never seen one of this nature where a family head kills his family members in such a cruel manner,” Mr Byaruhanga said.