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Mob raids funeral, burns body and coffin of suspected kidnapper

COFFIN ON FIRE: Mourners said Mugume did not deserve a decent burial because of the many crimes he was suspected to have committed. PHOTO URN
Fort Portal, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Angry residents in Mugura Cell, Rubingo Ward in North Division, Fort Portal Tourism City on Sunday set ablaze the body of Amos Mugume, a suspected kidnapper.

As the burial arrangements were ongoing on Sunday, the mob stormed the house where the body was being kept, brought it into the compound, poured petrol on it and set it on fire with its coffin.

Mugume, who had been on police’s list of the most wanted suspected kidnappers and criminals in Fort Portal Tourism City, was shot dead in Karamaga cell, Central Division, Fort Portal City, by security personnel on Friday.

Mugume’s body was then taken to Fort Portal regional referral hospital mortuary where his relatives later picked it for his burial.

Dauda Kigongo, a resident in the area, explains that the residents were too angry and even never wanted his body to be prayed for, saying that he did not deserve a decent burial.

Mugume was shot dead by joint security operatives following an incident in which he is alleged to have hacked one Patrick Kyomuhendo with a panga as he resisted arrest by community members.

He  then escaped to Karamaga swamp. The Police and the army were tipped off leading to a deployment that sounded the swamp where he was trapped.  Mugume allegedly attempted to hack a military person who was part of the team deployed for his arrest by a team lead by  Kabarole District Police Commander, John Oese,.

The Rwenzori West Regional Police Spokesperson, Vincent Twesige said at that point,  he was shot and died on spot.

Fort Portal North Division Mayor-elect, Joseph Mashuhuko  blamed Katojo prison administration for having failed to put in place measures to prevent Mugume from escaping from prison in October last year.

In 2018  police arrested Mugume and six others for allegedly kidnapping a one and half-year-old girl from her parents’ home in Maguru, Central Division, Fort Portal Tourism City.  The baby was reunited with her family after the parents reportedly paid a ransom of 2.5 Million Shillings.

Uganda Prison Spokesperson, Frank Baine, said that Mugume had taken advantage of a heavy downpour that day to escape.

But Mashuhuko says that given the nature of his charges when he was being remanded, he was supposed to be highly guarded to prevent him from going back to the community.

Emmy Lorika, the Officer in Charge of Fort Police Station said that Mugume was to blame for all that has happened before he asked the mourners to vacate the place.

By the time of publishing this story, Mugume’s family had not yet commented about the issue.

According to Twesige, Mugume has been on their wanted list for many other crimes including escape from lawful custody, trespass in schools to kidnap students, attempted murder of some of his victims and doing grievous harm to some of his victims.

Last month, he is suspected to have attempted to rape a student of Kyebambe Girls’ Senior Secondary School in Fort Portal. The incident happened at around 10 pm when the S.5 student had gone to the toilet. He stabbed the student on the head when she made an alarm and he took off.

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