Our son is mentally ill, insists PC Wabwire’s family

Mr Kenneth Ojambo (right) with family members at their home in Buwalira Village, Busia District on Monday. PHOTO | DAVID AWORI

What you need to know:

  • The family’s stand contradicts account by police spokesperson Fred Enanga that a medical examination showed Wabwire was found to be “normal and sound”

The family of Ivan Wabwire, the police officer who shot and killed a money lender in Kampala last Friday, has said their son is mentally sick and should not have been allowed to be in possession of a gun.

The family’s stand contradicts account by police spokesperson Fred Enanga that a medical examination showed Wabwire was found to be “normal and sound”.

But Mr Kenneth Ojambo, the suspect’s father, yesterday told Daily Monitor at his home in Buwalira Village, Masinya Sub-county in Busia District that his son has since 2018 been receiving treatment for mental illness.

“He has been mentally sick since 2018 and was receiving treatment at Butabika Hospital,” he said.

Mr Ojambo, who was brandishing what he said was a medical form from Butabika Hospital dated July 2021, indicated that the suspect had defaulted on his medical treatment and was suffering from hallucinations.

Hallucinations are an experience involving the apparent perception of something not present, which manifests by hearing sounds or voices that nobody else hears, seeing things that are not there such as objects, shapes, people or lights, feeling, or smelling things that do not exist.

According to Mr Ojambo, Wabwire joined the Force in 2015 “while in good health” but his ill health had started while (still) at the Police Training School in Kabalye, Masindi District.

He added: “He joined the police while in good health, but after some time, we received information that he had gone missing in the forest for three days. He was later found alone in the forest after a three-day search and since then, his challenges of mental health started.”

According to the family, Mr Wabwire’s bosses “were aware of his ill health and had referred him for treatment at Butabika Hospital where he has been receiving treatment”.

“A doctor at Butabika Hospital had advised the police that the suspect, who is now in police custody on charges relating to murder, was not fi t to handle a gun and should not be deployed for six years,” he added.

He said as a family, they were “surprised” when information filtered through that Mr Wabwire had used a gun to commit murder, and raised questions, including from where he got the gun and why he was deployed.

Mr Naku Sireka, the suspect’s uncle, who was reportedly crucial in his conscription into the Police Force, said his nephew’s poor health “was not news to the people in Buwalira”.

“He had no house at home and last year, while at their home, he was sleeping in the bush. His wife divorced when she learnt of his mental health,” Mr Naku said.

Mr Godfrey Malisi, one of the family members, has asked the relatives of the deceased to forgive them for the crime committed by Wabwire