President Museveni has given Shs10m to the family of Hussein Walugembe, a boda-boda rider who set himself on fire inside a traffic office at Masaka Central Police.
Walugembe, 20, died on July 2 after setting himself on fire following failed attempts to recover his impounded motorcycle a Bajaj Boxer, Reg No UDL591R.
This gruesome incident left both office officers at the station and residents in Masaka City horrified.
Police officers including Sgt Julius Ewalu and Sgt Ibrahim Ssesanga, the acting officer in charge of traffic in Masaka District have since been arrested in connection with the incident.
According to Ms Juliet Nanfuka, the mother of the deceased, she received a telephone call from President Museveni over the weekend to console the family.
“The President called me on phone and consoled us over the loss of my son, he later asked for my bank account number and sent us Shs10m,” Ms Nanfuka told Daily Monitor in a telephone interview on Wednesday.
Ms Nanfuka revealed that Mr Museveni also promised to buy a piece of land where to construct a house for the deceased’s family.
“I am grateful and humbled that President Museveni reached out to us and his intervention is a clear manifestation that he cares for his people,” she added
Ms Nanfuka said her prayer is that justice prevails and asked the Police authorities to bring implicated officers to book.
Mr Don Wanyama, the senior presidential press secretary, confirmed that President talked to the family.
“It’s not that everything should be in public domain, that was an arrangement between President Museveni and the family of Hussein Walugembe,” he said in a telephone interview on Wednesday.
The district authorities have said the act of suicide at Masaka Central Police Station was evidence of lack of vigilance by some of the police commanders.
Preliminary investigations indicate that Walugembe’s motorcycle was impounded on June 30, by Sgt Ewalu from a fuel filling station under construction, located near Masaka CPS. It is reported that by the time the police impounded the motorcycle, it was with Walugembe’s friend Twaha Kaweesi who was accused of flouting curfew guidelines.
When Walugembe showed up on both July 1 and July 2 at Masaka CPS traffic office to reclaim his motorcycle, both Sgt Ewalu and Sgt Ssesanga reportedly exerted pressure on him to pay a bribe of Shs40,000 to have his motorcycle released, which he did not have .
According to police, it was after Walugembe was fully frustrated by Sgt Ssesanga that he went and bought petrol at nearby Mogas Petrol Station and set himself ablaze. Walugembe attempted to grab Sgt Ssesanga to die with him, but the latter escaped with minor burns, leaving the deceased behind.
Today, a police disciplinary tribunal is expected to sit in Masaka to try the two implicated police officers.