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UPDF finally hands over Sabiiti’s body to family for burial

On Monday, the body was officially released to Sabiiti’s family in Kabarole district, culminating a 21-day period of waiting and uncertainty.

UPDF Officers as family members of the late Private Wilson Sabiiti prepare the grave on Tuesday morning at Mubali Village, Kijura Town Council in Kabarole District

KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) has finally handed over the body of Private Wilson Sabiiti, the guard who shot and killed Col (Rtd) Charles Okello Engola, the State Minister for Labour, before later turning the gun on himself.

Whereas the minister’s burial (whom he killed) was on May 13, at Awangi Village in Oyam District, Sabiiti’s body remained withheld by the army pending an investigation to establish whether his death was a result of self-shooting or disguised shooting by an unknown assailant.

Sabiiti, 33, had just been assigned to the minister’s security detail a month ago before he killed him over alleged grievances and financial distress.

However, after 21 days of waiting, Sabiiti’s body was officially released to his family to be accorded a decent burial at his ancestral home in the Kabarole district.

The family members, including Olivia Musiimenta, the sister of the deceased, and the brother, Mr. Saidi Biryomumaisho, on Tuesday morning, confirmed receiving the remains, saying a UPDF ambulance had delivered them to their home in Mubali village, Kijura town council, Kabarole district.

The news is bound to be a psychological comfort to the family that has been waiting for the body for the last 20 days and had even dug the grave in anticipation of the early release of his remains for burial.

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Last week, Ms. Musiimenta said every day they were feeding over 40 people who came to their home and had run out of food.

“In two days we buy about 30 kgs of beans and 25kgs of posho to feed people, but it is becoming expensive on my side; I spend about Shs 100,000 in two days, but I am now stuck. We appeal to people to contribute some money to us,” she said last week.

Sabiiti’s mother, Uwezeyi Keduresi, recently said the sight of the empty grave in her compound had left her traumatized.

“The mourners have been here now for two weeks; they have other things to do in their homes, but the government has delayed them here. We don’t have food to feed the mourners,” she said.

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The burial is expected to take place later today (Tuesday, May 23) and funeral arrangements are already underway at Mubali Village, Kijura Town Council in Kabarole District.

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