Katumba driver Kayondo buried, locals berate UPDF

Kayondo's widow Irene Achan (R) with their last born

Kayondo's widow Irene Achan (R) with their last born

Sgt. Hassan Kayondo, 38, the driver of Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala, the ex-minister for Works and Transport, was laid to rest in Lugando village, Bigasa sub-county, Bukomansimbi district of Friday. 

Kayondo died in the line of duty on Tuesday morning in a shootout that left Katumba injured and his daughter Brenda Wamala Nantongo dead. They were heading for the burial of Katumba's mother–in–law when unknown assailants attacked and opened fire on their car on Kisota road, Kisaasi in Kampala. 

At Kayondo's burial, a gun salute was given to him in honour of his bravery as fellow soldiers called him a hero. The widow Irene Achan says that Kayondo was a kind man, a good husband and a good friend. She thanked the residents, UPDF and all mourners for accompanying them during the trying times. 

Katumba did not attend Kayondo’s funeral because he was reportedly handling the funeral of his mother-in-law who passed away before the shooting incident. 

According to Brig Deo Sande, the commander of armoured brigade Unit-Masaka, who represented the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF), Kayondo joined the army in 2002 and had so far served for 19 years after adding that he went through the ranks to become sergeant.  

Sande said as security officers like everybody else, are also wondering why they are being targeted yet they have put their life on the line to serve and protect Ugandans by bringing peace and stability to the country. He said even if some things have not gone well in the execution of their duties, killing them is not the best option. 

He further appealed to all leaders in different capacities to fight for the men and women in the forces as they have always done for ordinary civilians because their life is also at stake. Sande made it clear that although they are being threatened, they will not give up on pursuing the criminals and protecting Ugandans because it’s our mandate.

However, Sheik Muhammad Wasswa Ssemakadde, the Bukomansimbi district khadi, attributes the ongoing killings to curses of all Ugandans who are arrested, incriminated, tortured, and innocently charged due to sloppy investigations. Ssemakadde explained that several people have been arrested without any crime and are still languishing in prisons at the expense of their own government.

On who is killing the soldiers, Ssemakadde told Brig. Sande that it is clearly an inside job within the security circles since it is the security organs that have access to guns and not the civilians. Ssemakadde warned that the attacks will not stop on Kayondo and Nantongo and may continue in case nothing is done about it and warned the public to be alert. 

Dr. Christine Ndiwalana, the Bukomansimbi North MP, appealed to the government to investigate the matter and arrest the right criminals and present a report to the citizens. She adds that several security operatives wear plain clothes which confuses the public when it comes to differentiating genuine officers from criminals.  

"We the people of Bukomasimbi are extremely angry because this is not the first time our people are being shot dead. We appeal to you to tighten up security. We prefer loving and being proud of our government than hating it. Even more importantly, much as part of your training killing people was one of your course units, stop killing innocent people. Tell President Museveni we're tired of crying over the killing of our innocent people," Ndiwalana said. 

She tasked the security organs to introduce their people to the local leaders to avoid confusion. She said the people of Bukomansimbi are always being harassed by people holding guns and residents are now tired and left with only one option of fighting back.    

Veronica Nanyondo, the Bukomansimbi Woman MP, says that the reports into the previous related killings should be produced in order to remove doubt in the state security organs. She appealed to the president to spot and arrest the right "pigs" (criminals) and bring them to justice.  

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd