The widow of Benon Musimenta who was shot dead by a UPDF soldier has refuted the army’s version suggesting that he was killed by a stray bullet.
Musimenta a lay reader attached to Kigore archdeaconry under South Rwenzori Diocese, Kasese was shot dead on Wednesday at Karungibate, Hima town council. Musimenta who was riding a motorcycle with his wife, Allen Musimenta, was killed while heading to the garden in Kanamba village, Karusandara sub-county.
The UPDF spokesperson Brig Richard Karemire on Wednesday said that the deceased was shot by a stray bullet which was fired by soldiers who were chasing armed robbers in the area.
On Thursday, the army issued a statement indicating that two UPDF soldiers had been arrested in connection with the shooting. They include Lt Talent Akampurira, the patrol squad commander and private Lokwapa Abraham.
However, the widow disputes the army’s version of events. According to her, they left their home at around 6:45 am, and when they reached Ngarambi farm near the Cobalt factory in Hima, they were stopped by UPDF soldiers who were manning the checkpoint. She says that when they stopped, a soldier crossed over from the left side of the road to where they were and shot Musimenta in the neck, killing him on spot.
“They didn’t ask him anything. They just stopped him and one of them came close and just fired a bullet into his neck. After seeing that he was down, he stepped back. It took me hard to believe that he’s the one who had been shot. I got up very fast, I held him but he was lifeless. There was no one to help me,” Allen said.
Allen says that she wants justice for her husband. She has also expressed concern about how she will single-handedly look after the eight children.
“UPDF soldiers just picked me and started questioning me. He was a calm man. We had nine children but lost one child. So we have eight. He was going to be ordained in November. What I want from government is to investigate, why did they kill my husband. He was a calm man, he did not refuse to stop, it was past curfew time. Why did they kill him?” Allen added.
Morris Akanyesige, a relative condemned the actions of the UPDF soldiers. He wants the government to take care of the deceased’s family. He says when he asked why the soldiers shot his relative and why they were not in barracks, the army tried to arrest him.
Bishop Jackson Nzerebende, the Bishop of South Rwenzori diocese described the deceased as a dedicated man who was set to be ordained reverend in November.
Nzerebende also says that they are not contented with the explanation of the army. He questioned how a trained soldier could shoot an unarmed person who had obeyed the instructions.