Amuru, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Top security personnel in Amuru District have been reassigned amidst the controversy surrounding the mysterious death of former acting Amuru Veterinary Officer, Samuel Ochora. The reshuffle comes more than two weeks after Ochora’s death was announced by Amuru security officials during a purported crackdown on defiant migrant cattle keepers on the night of January 25 in Lakang Sub-County.
Security authorities claimed that animal production specialist Ochora succumbed to a bullet injury sustained in the abdomen, allegedly accidentally discharged from a soldier’s firearm. However, his family disputed the report because no bullet was recovered from his body during an autopsy, instead accusing security forces of concealing the true cause of their son’s death.
Ochora was reportedly in the company of Amuru District Police Commander Joseph Nsabimana and Deputy District Internal Security Officer Julius Monday when he met his demise during the ill-fated late-night eviction exercise. It’s now understood that both the DPC and the Deputy DISO have been reassigned to different roles despite demands from the deceased’s family, as well as political and cultural leaders in Acholi.
According to reports, Nsabimana has been transferred to Isingiro as District Police Commander and will be succeeded by SP Francis Liga. Meanwhile, the District Internal Security Officer (DISO) Joseph Ebalu has been recalled to the President’s office in Kampala and will be replaced by Nicholas Ojul. Both Ebalu and his deputy Monday handed over their offices on Sunday at Amuru District headquarters in Otwee Town Council.
Proscovia Acham, the Deputy Resident District Commissioner of Amuru, confirmed the security reshuffle to Uganda Radio Network on Monday but declined to disclose further details. Meanwhile, Stephen Odong Latek, the Amuru Resident District Commissioner, stated in a February 12 announcement that he had taken a 30-day annual leave, just weeks after facing heavy criticism following Ochora’s death.
Family members, clan mates, and political leaders accused Latek of failing to provide clear explanations regarding Ochora’s death and demanded his arrest. Amuru District Chairperson Michael Lakony told Uganda Radio Network on Monday that while they are pleased with the reshuffling of security officers, their demand for a forensic investigation into Ochora’s death remains unchanged.
“We wanted them out of Amuru because of the situation they created especially during the death of Amuru DVO. We want now to get full details about his death and a forensic investigation to be carried out, especially on this circumstance surrounding his death,” said Lakony. Ochora, an animal production specialist aged 33, was laid to rest on February 3 at his father’s home in Kirombe Alokolum in Bardege-Layibi Division in Gulu City and his funeral attracted hundreds of mourners.
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