KAMPALA – A mother of a 15-year-old – Amos Ssegawa, who was shot dead during the November 2020 riots, has dragged the government to court, seeking compensation for the loss of her son.
Ssegawa’s mother, Sarah Nakitto –a resident of Kinoni Town Council in Lwengo District, insists that the loss of her son at the hands of trigger-happy security personnel, caused the family untold suffering.
Ssegawa was shot dead on November 19, 2020, as the police and army quelled protests that followed the arrest of then-presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine during a campaign rally in Luuka district. It is believed that over 60 lives were lost in the protests that paralysed business in different parts of the country.
President Yoweri Museveni, while speaking about the incident, pledged that government would compensate all families of victims of the protests. He noted that amongst the deaths; 32 were rioters – whom he said wouldn’t benefit from the government payout; save for the remaining victims.
However, it seems that the government has since done nothing to move in the direction of the Presidential orders in compensating families of victims, according to Nakitto. She notes soldiers clad in Uganda Peoples Defence Forces -UPDF uniform waylaid her son, an S. 2 student at Lubiri SS, then – at Cornerstone Plaza – Kalintunsi in Kampala –shooting him as he tried to escape the chaos in town.
Nakitto adds that she was in the company of her son, shortly after closing her shop when soldiers – travelling in a green military police vehicle from Mengo started shooting recklessly and within minutes she noticed that her son was bleeding profusely.
She recalls that the situation threw her into an emotional confusion; until a local television journalist – she later identified as Joseline Nakibuule came to the rescue of the boy – rushing him to Doctors Clinic – Mengo on a motorcycle – where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Without going through the formalities, the family buried the deceased.
Nakitto narrate that when she reported the case to the police; she was advised that the matter needed a postmortem to ascertain the exact cause of death. And as such – the body was exhumed and examined by the police pathologist Dr Moses Byaruhanga at a fee of Ugx60,000. The police report indicated that Segawa had succumbed to neurogenic shock resulting from head trauma.
Nakitto says that since the police report; her effort in pursuing compensation has been on a downward trend, and the only option was to take the matter before court. She adds that her son’s death had shattered her life and her employer allegedly stopped her from working due to the endless movements she makes while seeking justice. Nakitto adds that her daughter, Jovia Nagawa is equally traumatised, yet she can no longer afford her school fees having lost her source of income.
Nakitto’s lawyers headed by Abubaker Matanda say they want the court to declare that the death of Ssegawa was unlawful and as such government should be compelled to compensate the deceased’s family for the damages as well as costs of the suit – which is not specified.
Last week, Nakitto staged a lone protest outside parliament demanding justice and Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga promised to support her to access justice.