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Body of Col Engola’s killer finally laid to rest

The body of Private Wilson Sabiiti, the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) soldier who killed Col (rtd) Charles Okello Engola, has finally been buried.

Sabiiti’s body was handed over to the family on Tuesday at 5.00AM by the UPDF for burial, after three weeks of waiting.

The burial ceremony took place on Tuesday afternoon at Mubali village, Kijura Town Council in Kabarole District with a three-gun salute.

On May 2, Pte Sabiiti shot dead State Minister for Labour Col (Rtd) Engola before taking his own life.

Col Engola was buried on May 13 but the UPDF held onto Sabiiti’s remains until Tuesday. The family had been on tenterhooks since his death as there was never any communication from UPDF.

The UPDF team from Bombo Military Barracks headed by Maj Michael Tuliraba delivered Sabiiti’s body after an abrupt phone call informing the family to prepare for burial.

The deceased’s mother, Ms Uwezeyi Keduresi, told this publication in a recent interview that she had only received a phone call the day her son died from an unknown UPDF officer who was informing her of the demise. She said it was traumatizing for her to see her son’s empty grave in the compound every morning.

A close family member told this publication that UPDF contributed the coffin, posho and beans as well as undisclosed financial support.

The area LC1 chairman, Mr John Mwesigye said: “Many Ugandans earn between Shs100,000 and Shs200,000 a month which is very little. The working environment is also not good and I think that is why some people these days kill each other.”

“The MP earns Shs30 million, the LC3 chairman earns Shs350,000 and I wonder which country is this. President Museveni should listen to citizens’ concerns, we are not happy people. Ugandans are hungry and angry,” Mr Joram Bitamanya, who spoke on behalf of Sabiiti friends, said. The video of him speaking was widely shared on social media.

Ms Olivia Musiimenta, sister to the deceased, thanked the family of late Col (rtd) Engola for forgiving them, saying the news was also shocking to their family.

“God knows what happened between Sabiiti and his boss. I know it was not easy for the Engola family to forgive us. We also thank the UPDF fraternity for the spirit of humanity by finally releasing Sabiiti’s body and not just dumping it to us,” she said.

Sabiiti is survived by five children and two widows.

“As a family, we are in much pain, he was looking after us all. We don’t know how we shall take the children back to school. We thank Daily Monitor and NTV-Uganda for amplifying our voices because we had lost hope of receiving his body,” Ms Musiimenta said.

Maj Michael Tuliraba said: “His pension is only for his children, in our records, we have only five children and two wives and we have their names. Anybody whose name is not on our list should not come to us.”

The clarity came after a woman claiming to be late Sabiiti’s wife had appeared with a baby of 1 year and 8 months old.

Sabiiti was the second last born out of nine children of the late John Karimuda and Ms Uwezeyi Keduresi. He joined the army in 2013. He died at the age of 35 years.

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