Crime

Grief as suspected ADF rebels kill over 40 in Kasese  

BY JEROME KULE BITSWANDE

It was a somber mood in Nyabugando Cell in of Mpondwe Lhubiriha Town Council after rebels suspected to belong to the Allied Democratic Forces-ADF raided Mpondwe-Lhubiriha Secondary School commonly referred to as Peter Hunter SS.

At least 42 persons were killed; about seven girls abducted and a few others are nursing wounds at Bwera General Hospital. About three houses that make part of the school were also burnt.

Musoki Mary, a teacher at the school who also doubled as the matron, revealed that the privately-owned school had a total of 62 students in boarding school.

According to Musoki, the boys’ hostel had 28 students while the girls were 34 as at the time the rebels struck. She narrates that the rebels came in at about at 22:45hrs shortly after students returned from evening preps. 

Musoki, who says she then informed the school director, explains that she later started hearing voices demanding money and phones before gunshots started firing. 

She says it is at that point that she realized that her two young sisters were burning therein and yet she remained helpless for there was nothing she could do when the rebels were still roaming within the compound.

Moses Kato is a 17-year-old secondary one student who beat the hurdles of the night to live another day in what can best be described as a miraculous manner. 

Kato then peeped into the window and saw gun-wielding men causing them to refuse to open the door.

The rebels, however, used their fire power to create a hole within the door and then later opened the door for themselves. 

Kato says when he realized that they were going for students under the bed; he quietly jumped out of there and laid on the upper decker.

Having assumed that they killed all the students in the dormitory, Kato says they started sprinkling a liquid and then lit the fire before they moved out thinking they had killed all the students in the dormitory.

He says a few minutes later he crawled out of burning flames together with one colleague who had also been quietly lying on one of the beds.

Kasese Resident District Commissioner Lt Joe Walusimbi says the rebels must have used a source from within the community who directed them to the school. 

Walusimbi, however, took a swipe at a section of community members who he said were harbouring some of the rebels before appealing to local council authorities to tighten the security measures and ensure that they record any new visitors within their communities.

Maj Gen Dick Olum, the Commander Operation Shuja and Mountain Division Commandant concurred with Walusimbi that the rebels must have had a collaborator within the community. 

Maj Dick Olum said the rebels also abducted some few students but asked the residents to be vigilant and cooperate with the UPDF as security makes all effort to pursue the rebels. 

He also said some of the bodies were burnt beyond recognition and that they will be transported to Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital for government pathologists to carry out DNA texts so that parents identify their deceased children. 

Bwera Hospital Senior Administrator, Mr Clarence Bwambale Mumbahya, said the hospital received six students who were injured during the attack. He, however, revealed that two of them have since died. The hospital is also keeping 25 bodies of deceased victims. The bodies will be given to their relatives tomorrow so that they accord them a decent burial. 

1 Comment

  • Christopher June 17, 2023

    So sad that we lost innoncent daughters and Sons. RIP

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