Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 started as a normal day for 15-year-old Amos Ssegawa who had started working at his mother’s shop in Kisenyi, a Kampala suburb a fortnight ago.
Ssegawa’s mother, Hajara Nakitto had asked him to work with her at the shop because of the prolonged lockdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the government to close schools in March 2020. Only candidate classes have since resumed.
On the fateful day, Ssegawa and his mother decided to close the shop and return home in Masajja Kikajjo because of the protests that erupted following the arrest of the National Unity Platform-NUP, presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu.
The two escaped the chaotic scenes in Kisenyi and walked along Kafumbe Mukasa. At Eso corner towards Usafi park where they were headed to board a taxi, a UPDF truck with army officers came from Mengo hill road, recollects Nakitto.
Some of the officers had guns pointed at protesters but Nakitto says she didn’t realize the officers were shooting until one of the bullets hit her son. The bullet, she says, went through Ssegawa’s mouth penetrating through a vein connecting to the brain.
She says that amidst the confusion, she managed to lift her son to the nearby clinic with the help of Good samaritans where he was immediately pronounced dead. His body was laid to rest in Kinoni in Masaka district.
Ssegawa was a form two student of Lubigi High School Buloba Campus. His father, Meddie Ssemugenyi remembers him as a brilliant child with a visionary future. He loved computers and phones and learnt to fix minor glitches reported to him, said his father. He was the mechanic of the home. Ssegawa loved and played soccer as well as swimming. Ssemugenyi and his wife now remain with one child, a 12-year-old. He says the people who snatched Ssegawa from them should be brought to book.
He wishes that security stops using excessive force while quelling protests. He thinks security reacted with a lot of force to put down a protest by unarmed Ugandans.
Juliet Logose, a human rights officer at the Uganda Human Rights Commission central region office, says they have taken up the case for investigations and action.