UGANDA, Hoima | Real Muloodi News | A 40-year-old father and his two-year-old son were shot and killed by a police officer dispatched to effect arrests following a family land dispute in Hoima District, Western Uganda.
The man, only named Rwothupe, had been embroiled in a land dispute with his elderly mother, Tereza, who lives in Nzorobi Village in Nzorobi Parish Kabale Sub County, Hoima District.
According to neighbours, the conflict began when Rwothupe accused his mother of selling a portion of the family land without permission.
Mr Joseph Olama, the village chairman, stated that his office had previously attempted to resolve the issue between the two, but had failed before referring the case to the Kabaale police post in Hoima District.
Tereza went to the Kabaale police station and reported that her son (Rwothupe) had threatened to murder her over the land.
As a result, the police were dispatched to arrest Rwothupe on 11th February.
According to eyewitnesses, a brawl erupted between Rwothupe and the police as he sought to resist arrest, accusing the officers of conspiring with his mother.
“He confronted the armed officers with a machete and a hoe. One of the officers fired in the air but in vain. During the scuffle, Rwothupe was shot in the thigh. A bullet caught his son in the chest, and he died instantly. Rwothupe also lost a lot of blood before he died,” one of the neighbours said.
Nzorobi parish councillor, Mr Nathan Ahebwa, said, “currently the whole village is in shock after two of our residents were shot dead by police.”
He believes that the police officers who took part in the shooting should be investigated.
Mr Julius Hakiza, the Albertine region police spokesperson, confirmed the shooting and said that investigations had begun.
He said detectives from Hoima Central Police Station had been deployed to gather evidence that will be used to produce a report and guide their next line of action.
Land conflicts often develop into violence and death and are common in Uganda, impacting many landholders.
This, along with many other land conflicts, accounts for most cases brought before police and courts of law.
According to the 2020 police crime report, 319 crimes were reported, with just 20 cases resolved by law courts. The reported cases include:
- Obtaining land registration through deception (70)
- Criminal trespass (62)
- Forgery and issuing false documents (54)
- Obtaining money through false pretence (47)
- Concealment of title deeds (22)
- Malicious damage (14)
- Unlawful evictions (11) and
- Fraudulent sale of land (10).
According to the report, the illegal land purchase resulted in a loss of over USh4 billion that year.
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