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Parents demand answers over accidental shooting of Amuru Veterinary Officer

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Beatrice Okwamoi and Benson Okwamoi. inset is Amuru Veterinary Officer Dr Samuel Ochora. PHOTO URN

Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The parents of former acting Amuru District veterinary officer Dr. Samuel Ochora have tasked leaders and security personnel in Amuru district to explain with clarity the circumstances that led to the death of their son.

This comes as the parents revealed pathologists failed to recover any bullet from the deceased body following a postmortem examination conducted at the Fourth Infantry Division Military morgue on Saturday.

Dr. Ochora 32, died in the wee hours of Friday morning after he was reportedly shot by a Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) soldier during a crackdown on defiant migrant cattle keepers in Lakang Sub-county, Amuru district.

Amuru Resident District Commissioner Stephen Odong Latek said Friday, that the deceased was hit on the back by a bullet “accidentally” released from the gun of the soldier identified as Francis Ekiu.  Ekiu, attached to the 65th battalion reportedly first shot his leg before the bullet penetrated through the cabin of a vehicle and hit Dr. Ochora.

Speaking to Uganda Radio Network on Saturday, the parents of the deceased veterinary officer said they weren’t satisfied with the explanation and demanded the truth be told about his death.

Dr. Ochora’s father, Benson Okwamoi says it was contradictory that no bullet was recovered from in his son’s body, yet the security and local government officials claimed he was shot by a soldier.

Okwamoi noted that there was no wound indicating the bullet exited from his body and demanded clarity from the investigators on what exactly happened to their child.

He also notes that they are demanding that the deceased be compensated under the Workers Compensation Act since he met his demise while on duty working for the government.

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Okwamoi described his late son as a very disciplined, and honest person who loved his job and family members.

The deceased mother Beatrice Okwamoi equally says disclosure of the truth about their son’s death will help them as a family to heal. She notes that as a family, they are also ready to forgive Amuru district leaders and security personnel in case there was a mistake that led to the untimely death of Dr. Ochora.

Amuru Resident District Commissioner Stephen Odong Latek however says the death of Dr. Ochora was purely “accidental” based on accounts of eye witnesses who were with him at the time of the incident.

He notes that an investigation into the circumstances that led to his death hasn’t been concluded and calls on those with contradicting information to help investigators.

What happened?

According to security reports Uganda Radio Network obtained, Dr. Ochora was called to accompany security personnel on Thursday evening for an operation to evict defiant migrant cattle keepers in Kololo Parish, Lakang Sub-county.

He was reportedly accompanying the Amuru District Police Commander and the Deputy District Internal Security Officer to a holding ground where 300 cattle impounded from defiant migrant cattle keepers were being held.

It’s reported that nine armed UPDF soldiers had accompanied the officials in the same double cabin vehicle belonging to the District Internal Security officer for the operation code-named “Operation Harmony”.

While at Kololo Police post at about midnight, it’s reported that a bullet was “accidentally” discharged from one of the soldier’s guns, hitting Dr. Ochora on his abdomen. Dr. Ochora was reportedly seated behind the co-driver’s seat.

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Amuru District Chairperson Michael Lakony told Uganda Radio Network that it was illegal for civil servants to work past 5 pm and demanded that an independent Forensic investigation be conducted on the incident.

UPDF Deputy Spokesperson Deo Akiiki says the soldier is currently admitted at the Fourth Infantry Division military hospital nursing an injured foot adding that investigations are underway to ascertain the truth of what happened.

Dr. Ochora was scheduled to graduate next month with a master’s degree in animal production and marketing from Gulu University.

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URN

The post Parents demand answers over accidental shooting of Amuru Veterinary Officer appeared first on The Independent Uganda:.

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