Nwoya watchman commits suicide

Mr Denis Akena, head teacher St Luke Teo-Olam primary school talks to Kazi-njema News on November 11, 2020. (Photo: Denis Omony)

A 66-year-old watchman has committed suicide over unclear reasons in Anaka Sub-county, Nwoya District.

Phillip Lakor, attached to St Luke Te-Olam primary school had just picked his wages arrears amounting to Shs200, 000 when he reportedly took his own life.

According to Mr Andrew Okumu Opira, when his nephew went to pick his salary, he also brought back home from his duty station some chemical that he had bought from Olwiyo trading centre in Purongo sub-county.

Mr Opira, who was away at the time of the incident said that Lakor’s lifeless body was discovered decomposing by the school deputy head teacher, Mr Emmanuel Abari, at around 10am yesterday with Shs108, 000 in the pocket.

However, the deceased did not leave any notice behind to help establish the cause of the heinous act.

Voiceover: Opira on suicide (English)

However, a source privy to the family said that the deceased was upset during a family preparatory meeting held on November 6, 2020 about the burial of his father-in-law.

Mr Geoffrey Opobo, the Anaka Sub-county LC 3 Chairman, told Kazi-njema News that the deceased had several times reported being mistreated by his family members but nobody took the matter seriously.

He suspects that the reported mistreatment could have forced Lakor to commit suicide.

The officer in charge of Nwoya police station, Mr Kenneth Agaba, confirmed the report saying police visited the scene, recorded statements from witnesses before allowing the relatives to bury today.

As preparations for burial went on, a row erupted between the deceased’s relatives and the authorities of the Catholic founded school after the latter blocked them from performing some cleansing rituals.

Mr Opira said to fulfill their cultural belief, the bereaved family had already offered a goat for performing a cleansing ritual on both Mr Abari and the classroom.

However, Mr Denis Akena, the school head teacher, said the ceremony will not be conducted since it goes against the Catholic practice that requires only praying and sprinkling of the “holy water”.

Audio: Akena on suicide (English)

Acholi culture

According to the Acholi culture, anybody who discovers a dead body must undergo a traditional cleansing ritual to avoid a similar incident that may occur directly or indirectly to them.

The law

Article 210 Chapter 20 of the Penal Code Act states that any person who attempts to kill himself or herself commits a misdemeanour.

In Uganda, suicide becomes an offence if a person attempts to kill him/herself but fails. A person who attempts to kill him/herself is liable to imprisonment for up to two years.

In addition, it is also an offence to help people kill themselves and a person who assists another commit suicide is punishable for up to life in prison.

A misdemeanour is the smaller of the two possible criminal offences a person can be convicted of, and with the misdemeanor, a culprit, if convicted, suffers a lighter punishment than one convicted of a felony or capital offence.”


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