Assailants kill teacher at Kakumiro Church

Christians of Katikara Church of Uganda in Kakumiro District gather at the church where Lias Mugume, a former secondary school teacher from Bugambe Sub-county in Kikuube District was murdered on Tuesday, June 19, 2023, at around midnight. (Image: Gad Asaba/Kazi-njema News)

One person died on the spot while another was admitted to a private clinic in Katikara Sub-county, Kakumiro District after the yet to be identified assailants hacked them at Katikara Church of Uganda on Tuesday, June 19, 2023 at around midnight.

The deceased identified as Lias Mugume, 27, was a science teacher at Benita High School in Katikara sub-county while the admitted is identified as Aggrey Tugume, 48, and resident of Katikara trading centre.

Ms Harriet Tumusiime, an eye witness at the crime scene, told the press that the grisly act that took place at midnight after a night prayer was carried out by three assailants armed with machetes, hoes and sticks.

“We were sleeping at around midnight when I heard my children wake me up shouting that I get up and run away after being attacked. On getting up, I saw three masked people holding machetes, wielding machetes, hoes and also brandishing sticks. The unidentified foes eventually hacked Lias Mugume and other church members. To escape the attack, I, my children and other Christians fled the scene for our dear lives,” Ms Tumusiime said.

Speaking from his hospital bed, Mr Tugume, who was hacked in the head and chest, said the church members were attacked when they had already finished praying and sleeping in the church.

“I was the first person to be hacked when the assailants arrived at the church. When I tried to run away, they hacked me in the back but fortunately, I managed to escape from them and I hid in the nearby coffee garden. Later, I saw a beam of light from a torch pointed towards me only to realise that he was our lay reader who had heard me groan and had come to my rescue. He carried me on his back bleeding profusely and took me to a clinic when I was admitted,” Mr Tugume narrated to Kazi-njema News on Tuesday.

The church’s Lay Reader Emmanuel Rukundo, narrated that he was sleeping in his house after night prayers when he heard people wailing at the church to where he rushed only to find Mugume already dead while hiding and bleeding in a coffee garden.

He said he informed the Katikara Police Post that rushed to the scene but found the assailants had already left.

Some Christians at Katikara Church of Uganda in Kakumiro District where the murder of Lias Mugume took place on Tuesday midnight. (Image: Gad Asaba/Kazi-njema News)

“It is hard for a person inside a house to hear an alarm sounding for rescue in case of any attack at Katikara trading centre because bar owners play music beyond the required decibel all day and night. At times criminals hide in nightclubs waiting for the late hours of the night to strike so they can go and execute their criminal acts. Let authorities including security agents advise the bar owners.” Lay Reader Rukundo said.

The Very Reverend, Canon Godfrey Buro, the Archdeacon of Katikara Church of Uganda Archdeaconry in Bunyoro Kitara Diocese, revealed that it was the second incident to happen in the area.

He advised the youth to work hard for their livelihood and wrongdoers to repent of their sins for a peaceful society.

Audio: Buro on attack (Runyoro/Rutooro)

The Officer in Charge (OC) of Katikara Police Post, Mr Stephen Ogwang, confirmed receiving a call from the Lay Reader but by the time the police reached at the scene, the criminals had already escaped.

However, he said the police were hunting the fugitive culprits to be arrested, arraigned and prosecuted in courts of law on charges of murder, attempted murder and causing bodily harm to a person.

The police officer condemned the ghastly act wondering how the assailants could attack people who were praying in the church during the night prayer that was started way back in 2017.

Audio: Ogwang on attack (English)

Police took Mugume’s body to Kakindo Health Centre 4 for forensic examination before it was handed to the relatives for burial in Bugambe sub-county, Kikuube district.

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