University student hangs self amid reported spike in suicide cases

The body of Bibiana Nasasira (pictured) who was pursuing Bachelors of Social Works and Social Administration was reportedly found hanging at her sister’s home in Rweza Cell, Kitojo Parish in Rukiga District where she had relocated ahead of her internship. PHOTO/ COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • Several cases of suicide have been reported across the country this month, with victims aged between nine and 52

Police in Rukiga District are investigating a case in which a first-year student at Kabale University allegedly hanged herself as the country continues to witness a rise in reported cases of suicide.
The police spokesman for Kigezi region Mr Elly Maate identified the deceased as Bibiana Nasasira, 22, who was pursuing Bachelors of Social Works and Social Administration.  

“It's alleged that on Monday, Bibiana went to visit her sister who resides in Rweza Cell, Kitojo Parish in Rukiga District, with intentions of staying with her since she was about to start her internship at the district local government headquarters,” Mr Maate said.  
“On Tuesday evening the sister noticed that she [Nasasira] was restless and when asked what the problem was, she did not say anything. On Wednesday, morning at around 5am she was found hanging on a tree behind the sister's house using a piece of cloth,” he added.

Police led by the homicide team leader, D/AIP Nelson Turyamutangirira, visited the scene before the body was handed over to the relatives for burial. A case of suicide by hanging has been recorded at Rukiga District Police Station under CRB 280/2022.
“It is very unfortunate and uncalled for to end one’s life even perhaps, when it could have been handled by relevant authorities,” Mr Maate said.
Kabale University public relations officer, Mr Godfrey Sempungu, said they were saddened by the bad news about the demise of their student.

“She was on good progress with her studies. We condole with the family,” Mr Sempungu said.
In a brief statement to police, Bibiana’s father, Mr Kalist Sigirenda, 54, is quoted saying he has lost a number of relatives to suicide.
“Sometimes I wonder whether it’s a family curse,” he said.

Cases spike

Several cases of suicide have been reported across the country this month, with victims aged between nine and 52.

On June 26, 2022, a law enforcement officer attached to Bugerere Taxi drivers’ cooperative society Ltd is said to have jumped into River Ssezibwa in what relatives and eyewitnesses described as a suicide attempt.

The body of Fred Ssebunya, 49, was retrieved from the water later in the evening after frantic search, according to police. 
Three days before Ssebunya’s death, residents of Makindye Zone in Kangulumira Town Council, Kayunga District, were on June 21 left in shock after a Primary Three pupil allegedly hanged herself for fear of being punished.
The victim, aged nine allegedly sneaked into a neighbour’s home and picked charcoal without her permission to prepare breakfast. She had stayed home following the closure of her school since Arts teachers are currently on strike over a pay rise.

After threats to report the matter to her mother, the girl felt startled and started wailing as she pleaded for forgiveness. She was later found hanging by the rope.
On June 17, police in Mbarara District said they were investigating circumstances under which a prisons warder killed his girlfriend, before taking his own life in a love gone sour.
Aloysius Chemutai, 27, a Prisons warder attached to Kakiika Prison in Mbarara, is said to have shot dead Magdalena Adong, 24, a wardress attached to Prison Academy and Training School Luzira before turning the gun at himself. 
On June 13, police detectives at Kireka in Kira Municipality, Wakiso District said they were investigating a case in which a 48-year-old resident of the same area allegedly attempted to commit suicide.

Dan Mubiru was rushed to Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala bleeding profusely after he allegedly cut his neck at around 11am at Kireka Main Market.
On June 1, 2022, Police in Lyantonde District said they were investigating two separate incidents under which two people, including an LCI chairperson committed suicide.
Police identified the deceased as Julius Mutabaazi, 52, who was the LCI chairperson of Lwakasolola Village, and Antonio Lwanga Matovu a resident of Biwolobo Village, Lyantonde Town Council in Lyantonde District.

According to residents, Mutabaazi was found hanging on an electric cable in the morning of June 1 while Antonio Lwanga Matovu, a resident of Biwolobo Village, Lyantonde town council is said to have poisoned himself the evening before.
Lwanga was a businessman selling fish in Lyantonde market.
Six days after their death, Police in Kiira region also said they were investigating circumstances under which a 17-year-old student at Wanyange Girls’ Secondary School in Kakira town council, Jinja District died.
Josephine Namuli committed suicide in her dormitory on June 7 at around 7am using a rope attached to her bed.