Prison warder shoots inmate dead, murder suspect dies in police custody

Residents gathered at the scene where an inmate was shot dead on March 22,020. PHOTO BY MUZAFARU NSUBUGA

What you need to know:

  • Police in Rukungiri District in western Uganda are investigating the circumstances under which a 30-year-old man accused of murder, died under their custody.

A prison warder has shot dead an inmate of Bbulakato Prison in Lukaya town council, Kalungu District.

Peter Ssekwe, 40, was shot dead by a yet-to-be-identified prison warder on Tuesday. It is alleged that Ssekwe escaped from the prison at around 6am and when the prison warders pursued him, he hid in a pit-latrine at Bright Primary School. This, then forced the prison warders to fire bullets, prompting Ssekwe to move out and surrender himself to the officers.

Eyewitnesses told Daily Monitor that after surrendering, one prison officer ordered Ssekwe to sit down near the gate of Bright Primary School and he shot him a number of times in the head, leading to his death.
“He had jumped over the fence of the school and hid in the toilets. A few minutes later, we heard bullets, which forced us to run towards the school gate, only to find that the warders had killed him," Mr Edward Ssentongo, the chairperson Juma Cell, said.

Mr Ssentongo noted that it was bad for a prison warder to kill an inmate who had already surrendered to them.
"At least they should have shot him in the legs rather than killing him, we really condemn such brutal acts by men in uniform, they are really tarnishing the image of the institutions they serve," he said.
After the shooting, Police officers led by Vianney Birungi, the officer in charge of Lukaya Police Station went to the scene and took Ssekwe’s body to Masaka Regional Referral Hospital mortuary.

Mr Birungi however declined to talk about the incident. But a police officer who preferred anonymity said the deceased had earlier escaped from various prisons including Luzira Maximum Prison and Masaka Central Prison.
Uganda Prisons Spokesperson Frank Mbaine said the intention of the prison warder was not to kill the inmate.
“The prisoner tried to hide as the warder tried to prevent him from escaping. In the process of disabling him, he was shot; that is allowed,” he said. In addition to that, Kalungu Deputy Resident District Commissioner, Ms Sarah Nannyanzi also defended the warder saying the inmate was part of a criminal gang that had been terrorising the district.

“What the prison warder did is commendable, had he [prison warder] left the criminal to escape, he would return to the community and resume terrorizing our people,” Mr Nannyanzi said.
Kalungu District Police Officer, Mr Charles Okello said they had launched investigations the matter. When asked about the whereabouts of the prison warder, the police refused to comment.

Murder suspect dies in police custody
Meanwhile, Police in Rukungiri District in western Uganda are investigating the circumstances under which a 30-year-old man accused of murder, died under their custody.
Adios Naturinda, a peasant of Bunono cell Bunono Parish, Nyarushanje Sub County in Rukungiri District had been detained by police on charges of murder.
Naturinda is accused of killing Pauson Muhwezi on February 22, 2020, according to the Kigezi regional Police spokesperson, Mr Elly Maate.

“It is alleged that on March 1, 2020, he (Naturinda) started behaving in a strange manner and talking uncoordinated statements. This raised suspicions that he had developed a mental problem. On March 2, in the morning, he was rushed to Rwamahwa health center IV for treatment, unfortunately he passed away in the evening,” Maate said.
The body awaits transfer to Rwakabengo health centre III hospital mortuary for a postmortem to establish likely cause of death," Mr Maate says.