FORT PORTAL – Despite the Uganda People’s Defence Forces – UPDF Spokesman – Brig Felix Kulayigye’s earlier declaration, the army reversed its decision – Pte Wilson Sabiiti with full honours befitting his service as a soldier.
Sabiiti was buried on May 23 in Mubali village, Kijura Town Council in Kabarole district – at least three weeks following his death – which occurred in Kyanja – a Kampala City suburb. Sabiiti turned a gun onto his own life after shooting dead Charles Engola – the former State Minister for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations in the Ugandan Cabinet.
The late Engola was MP representing Oyam North County at the time he was shot. He had previously held the position of Minister of State for Defence. The Rtd Col. was buried on May 13, in his ancestral home in the Lango sub region but the send-off Sabiiti was delayed reportedly because of divergent views within the army ranks.
“The UPDF is a professional army….there was no way such an incident wouldn’t have sparked off a debate within…so all along (for three weeks) the leadership behaved as if nothing was going on yet in the real sense – ears were on the ground,” said a well-placed army source at Mbuya – the UPDF and Defence Ministry headquarters.
UPDF Spokesperson Brig. Kulayigye revealed in a snap interview that the army leadership had decided to bury Sabiiti and indeed soldiers took charge of the burial arrangement soon after delivering his body in the wee hours of Tuesday.
“For over some time the public had exhibited signs of concerned when we said Sabiiti wouldn’t be accorded a military send-off…..and it’s now the same public complaining after reversing the decision,” wondered Kulayigye.
At Mubali village hundreds of mourners turned up to attend the burial ceremony of Sabiiti, whom many believe sacrificed his life to save other Ugandans suffering at the hands of their principals.
One enraged mourner called on President Yoweri Museveni to address issues affecting the vulnerable Uganda saying; “We are hungry and angry Mr president…..you need to reconsider our woes…”
Sabiiti has been buried with a three-gun volley – befitting a soldier at the rank of Private up to a Colonel.
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