MBARARA – The burial of Mbarara businessman Pelegrine Atwine, who was murdered at the weekend, was marred by condemnation of the government for failing to protect its citizens.
Atwiine, a timber and real estate dealer, was abducted from Mbarara Town, strangled and his body dumped in Rwariire, Nyakayojo Division, Mbarara Municipality at the weekend.
During the burial in Bukiro Sub-county, Mbarara District on Monday, mourners from both the ruling party and the opposition said police and army have not helped in protecting the people.
“We are being killed like chicken,” Mr Prosper Tuhaise, the NRM chairperson of Bukiro Sub-county and the deceased’s uncle, said.
“Security is part of the gang that is killing us. Where does one get confidence to kill someone in broad daylight in town, drive and dump his body in the same area? This can’t be an ordinary person. Look at the guns that killed [Former police spokesperson Felix] Kaweesa, how [Prosecutor] Joan Kagezi and [Former MP Ibrahim] Abiriga were killed, those cannot be ordinary people,” he added.
Mr Paul Buregeya, the deceased’s father, said: “What hurts is that it is the young and resourceful people that are being targeted, where is the country heading to? Recently, we buried another young man who died in similar manner, it is now Pele. We can’t come to terms with this situation and something has to be done.”
The Rev Fr Felix Bikwasizehi, the Rubindi Parish priest, said the level of criminality in the country was alarming.
“Evil thoughts, deeds and criminality in the country are increasing, we need to do something to avert this. Everyone is living in terror. Even the killers of Pelegrine are here and listening and planning but in this you will not reap anything good but you will perish,” Fr Bikwasizehi said.
The district chairperson, Capt (Rtd) Tumusiime Bamuturaki, attributed the increasing criminality to declining morality in the country and not laxity of the security.
“I will disagree with my Father (Fr Felix) of forgiving these criminals. I will lead an operation against these killers and we will get them,” Capt Tumusiime said.
Mr Samson Kasasira, the Rwizi region police spokesperson, said they were making progress on the case, adding that they had arrested some of the suspects and recovered a vehicle that was allegedly used to transport the body.
“There is no laxity in police, we have arrested and prosecuted several criminals. We appeal to community members and leaders to cooperate with us so that these criminals are apprehended,” Mr Kasasira said.