Two motorcyclists killed, dumped in Busia forest

A resident of Habuleke Village, Busitema Sub-county in Busia District protests at the scene where two motorcyclists were found murdered and their motorcycles stolen on December 2, 2022. PHOTO/DAVID AWORI

What you need to know:

  • Their bodies were found in Busitema forest days after they were reported missing

A police inquest is underway into the death of two motorcyclists whose bodies were on Friday discovered in Busitema Forest, Busia District in eastern Uganda. 
Mr Moses Mugwe, the Bukedi Region Police Publicist, identified the deceased as Richard Okumu, 30, a resident of Habuleke Village in Busitema Sub-county, and Jackson Musana, 23, a resident of Muwayo in Bugiri District. 

“The assailants must have taken advantage of the isolated area along Habuleke Road to waylay their victims, execute their crime and flee with their motorcycles,” Mugwe said in a brief phone call at the weekend.
Mr Alfred Wabwire, the Habuleke Parish LC2 chairman, said he received information about the murder shortly after he had left his garden at 10am on Friday.

According to Mr Wabwire, each of the victims had several deep cuts on the head, while one suffered a broken leg and wounds on the hand, suggesting that he tried to fight his assailant(s). 
According to relatives and friends, the duo, who had been operating at Busitema checkpoint, went missing on November 29. 
Mr Fred Wanjala, a colleague, said he last saw one of the victims on that day taking rice to a mill at Muwayo Trading Center in Bugiri District and was never seen alive again. 
Ms Sylvia Ajambo, a mother to Mr Musana, said she last saw her son on November 28 and since then, several attempts to reach him have been futile as his phones were switched off. 
Ms Vincent Omekula, an uncle to Okumu, said he last saw his nephew at around 8pm on November 29. 
“He brought the rice I had sent him to the mill at Muwayo Trading Centre, I gave him some money and he left at around 8pm for his home,” he said. 

Mr Omekula said the bodies of his nephew and colleague were discovered by a resident who spotted blood and broken motorcycle side mirrors while passing through Busitema Forest.
 “We were called to the scene and when we entered the forest, we saw a pool of dry blood, while the bodies of both victims bore deep cuts on the head, suggestive of having been killed about 48 hours earlier. 
The bodies of the deceased were taken to Busia Health Centre IV for an autopsy. 
But as police try to establish the motive of the murder, Mr Omekula points to robbery “because they took their motorcycles and their trouser pockets were found searched.”
 
How criminals waylay victims
 
Mr Charles Siminyu, also a resident, said criminals had resorted to fastening strings and electric wires across Habuleke Road to trap their victims. 
“Once the criminals hear an approaching motorcycle, they place strings and wires across the road so that the rider hits the trap, falls, is attacked, hacked and robbed of his motorcycle,” he said. 
Mr Michael Kibwika, the Busia Resident District Commissioner (RDC), advised boda boda riders to take extra care, especially as the festive season approaches, and not to be lured by strangers into moving to isolated places especially at night.
 

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