UPDF officer shoots three people dead in Rubirizi District

Locals comforting Ms Mary Nkakimanya mother to two murdered person and three injured victims in Rubirizi district on Monday. PHOTO/FELIX AINEBYONA. 

What you need to know:

  • Rubirizi District Police Commander Abel Muwonge confirmed the incident saying they are still hunting for the soldier who allegedly committed the offence.

A Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) soldier attached to 27 battallion in Rubirizi District went on rampage and shot three people dead in Nkondo village Karagara parish, Ryeru sub county Bunyaruguru Rubirizi District. Three others were left in critical condition.

Rubirizi District Police Commander Abel Muwonge confirmed the incident saying they are still hunting for the soldier who allegedly committed the offence. “We got a tragedy this morning past midnight when one of our UPDF soldiers by the names of Mutahaire Godson AX017942, picked his gun and started firing bullets in the air and also attacked people’s homes unnecessarily.’’

Mr Muwonge identified the deceased as Conrad Mayi 22, and Oliver Ninsiima 26, members of the same family and residents of Nkondo Village, Karagara Parish Ryeru sub county. The third person was Scoviah Kazaire 50, a resident of Mubanda village Ryeru sub county.

“I condone with the bereaved families but I assure the public that we are tracking the same soldier and the search has started and we are progressing,” said Mr Muwonge, adding that they have some clues they are following up.

Ms Jane Scoviah Asiimwe 36 a sister to Mayi and Ninsiima said the soldier came at around 1am and wanted to enter the house but they refused which forced the solidier to start shooting.

“He came at night and knocked at our door saying that he had a pregnant woman, when they refused to open for him, he went to the window where my sisters were sleeping and started shooting and hit the arm of one of my sisters,’’ Asiimwe said. She added when he started shooting, her sisters ran to their brother for help but the solidier followed them and that is when Conrad was shot at in the chest as Oliver was shot in the arm and chest before dying.”

According to the police commander, “Mourene Kyakusimire , Shirani Ahimbisibwe, and Rauman Maweje all of the same family [as Asiimwe], are critically injured and admitted at KIU and Mbarara after sustaining bullet wounds on the skull and abdomen.’’

Kazaire, the 50-year-old was killed when the soldier shot in the air in her neighbourhood. Kazaire rushed to switch off the lights in her house but the gunman shot at her through the window.

Ryeru sub county LC3 Chairman Richard Kimunyu said they want the president’s office to investigate the matter and the suspect apprehended.

“I’m concerned that the hooligan from UPDF have invaded two homes and killed people indiscriminately, I’m calling on the office of the president to intervene immediately and arrest this hooligan immediately because we cannot tolerate such people in the society,’’ Kimunyu said.

Former MP Bunyaruguru Cadet Benjamin said the unfortunate incident happened when the commander of the battalion had warned the residents of a mentally ill soldier. ''According to the commander of the battalion, the soldier ran mad and escaped from the barracks. He advised residents to remain indoors until he is captured but most of the phones were off to make sufficient warnings.''

He added ''The killing was a very unfortunate event. I applaud the rapid deployments and ‘stay inside the house’ order that was effected by our battalion commander that curtailed the massacre by the killer soldier. Without the prompt army response, we would be counting more dead bodies.”