UPDF orders hospital to stop treating traffic officer shot by soldier

Police Constable Robert Mukebezi in hospital after he was shot in the leg in January. PHOTO/ FILE

What you need to know:

  • After the shooting, the army promised to take care of Mr Mukebezi’s medical bills. 

The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) have allegedly ordered UMC Victoria Hospital to stop treating a traffic officer, who was shot by one of their soldiers, on their medical account. 

Police Constable Robert Mukebezi was shot in the leg in January. The injured leg was later amputated.
In an interview with Daily Monitor yesterday, Mr Mukebezi said he was informed of the development during a visit to the facility to dress his wound last week.

“I am suffering. I am stuck at home, but I have to look for money to buy drugs and also pay for my treatment. I have a child who has to return to school and another one, who is an infant. All these burdens are on my shoulders,” Mr Mukebezi said.

Mr Mukebeezi’s troubles started on the morning of January 16, when he was sent to recover the wreckage of a military SUV which had knocked a Kobil Petrol Station signpost on Ntinda-Kiwatule road.  The soldiers, who were in the car, fled the scene leaving the car behind.

However, while towing away the car, Mr Mukebezi was intercepted by three UPDF soldiers travelling in a military double cabin pick up truck. 

After an altercation between the soldiers and Mr Mukebezi, one of them shot him in the leg and the trio sped away leaving the injured officer on the roadside. 

After the incident, the army promised to take care of Mr Mukebezi’s medical bills. 

The traffic officer said the doctors told him he was ready to receive an artificial limb but he does not have the money to buy one. He added that the UPDF promised to provide him with one but it has not yet been delivered. 

Mr Mukebezi said the soldiers who shot him have yet to be prosecuted.

“It is now five months since I was shot. They (police investigators) have refused to take the file to the Director of Public Prosecutions so that we can get her advice on the case,” he said. 

According to Mr Mukebezi, the Uganda Police Force only sent him Shs1.6m as a welfare fund. 

“When I went to them for more financial help, the police welfare officer asked me to first show the accountability for the Shs1.6m they gave me. How do you show accountability for money used for errands to and from the hospital?” he said. 

What they say

When contacted on the matter, Mr Charles Kaweesa, the spokesman of UMC Victoria Hospital, said: “It is a very sensitive matter. The person who can comment about it isn’t around. You should reach out to the UPDF to get a comment.”  

The UPDF spokesman, Brig Felix Kulayigye, said he wasn’t privy to the progress of the case. 
“I was not in office when the incident happened,” Brig Kulayigye said.