Police in Hoima are investigating circumstances under which one of their own committed suicide by shooting himself inside the barracks.
Julius Hakiza, the Albertine regional police public relations officer, has identified the victim as Police Constable Lawrence Kayanga, aged 34.
Speaking to Uganda Radio Network on phone this morning, Hakiza says that Kayanga shot himself at about 6pm on Wednesday at the time when he was expected to report for evening duty.
He says the deceased left behind a suicide note with the phrase: “I have decided to do it because I have no strength and peace.”
Hakiza says that by the time Kayanga shot himself dead, his wife was not in their house.
He adds that the body of the deceased who hails from Eastern Uganda is at the Hoima regional referral hospital mortuary pending postmortem by police pathologists.
Asked about how a police officer managed to have a gun in his house inside the barracks, Hakiza says the deceased had just signed for the gun as he reported for evening duty but may be decided to head direct to his home to do the act of suicide.
Sources within the police barracks who have preferred anonymity told URN that the deceased had had domestic issues with his wife. Kayanga had reportedly asked another woman in the barracks to counsel his wife and as a result, upon his return home, she engaged him in a verbal attack asking why their domestic issues are leaked to a third party.
Sources say Kayanga shot himself dead moments after his wife had walked out of the house to fetch water from a tap within the barracks.
The worst drought Kenya is experiencing in recent years is driving some depressed villagers to commit suicide.
According to Red Cross officials in the East African country, an unspecified number of people have taken their lives as they could not deal with the suffering.
Kenya is currently facing drought that has affected millions who are struggling to get food.
“To some of the affected, they hang on strands of hope for the appearance of good Samaritans, while others have surrendered their fate to the ravaging drought,” said Noellah Musundi of the Kenya Red Cross Society.
The official said some 13 counties are in the alarm stage of drought classification.
These include Baringo, Garissa, Isiolo, Marsabit, Kilifi, Kwale, Tana River, Lamu, Mandera, Wajir, Samburu, Turkana and West Pokot.
An additional ten are in the alert stage including Embu, Kajiado, Kitui, Laikipia, Makueni, Narok, Nyeri, Taita Taveta, Meru and Tharaka Nithi.
The drought situation follows poor performance of the 2016 long rains (March to May) and failure of the 2016 short rains (October to December) leaving 1,3 million people food insecure as of December.
The situation has since escalated in January to more than 2 million people and as of February, the figure has reached to 2,7 million of Kenya’s 46-million population.
By Jackie Lumbasi
Is anyone concerned about the many people committing or attempting to commit suicide? In the past one month alone, there has been three cases uptown and downtown Kampala.
There could be many others that never make it to the media. That is cause for concern! Are people tired of living; is family, as a unit, falling apart; is lack of a job reason enough to end one’s life; is the end of a relationship reason enough to kiss the world goodbye?
A photo went viral recently on social media of a lady and her daughter. She posted it on her page and wondered if there was someone out there willing to marry her, with her daughter; she threatened to kill the daughter if that would pave the way for her to find a suitor! Humans have become something else!
In an interaction with a psychiatrist, Dr. Caro Birungi, on Capital FM’s Big Breakfast show, I learnt that Uganda ranks 17th amongst countries with high suicide cases worldwide. And that Uganda has about 45 psychiatrists – including the dead, non-practicing and those that left the country. There could be slightly over 20 practicing psychiatrists in Uganda.
With such figures, we need each other to overcome suicide. Everywhere around us, there is someone struggling with their career, relationship, an illness, business or family. All they need is a listening ear. But because everyone is busy trying to earn a living or taking care of themselves, this person finds him/herself ignored, isolated and lonely; that’s when hope is lost and suicidal thoughts are entertained.
Over the years, I have interacted with very many strangers; some of them shared with me their troubles in the hope that I could help. There are times when people look for strangers to pour out their heart to because they think it will work better since this person does not know them, their friends or family.
There are those that look for strangers because the people they call family do not pay attention to their needs. You have a sister or a brother that is in trouble, it could be at work or at home.
It is obvious to you because you can see they are not as happy as they used to be, he/she is losing weight, he/she suddenly prefers to spend time alone in a corner, you could have even chanced on him/her crying but you decided he/she capable of dealing with it. There are people that can deal with any situation personally but there are others that need joint efforts.
The best thing you can do in such situations is care to know what is going on and encourage that person to talk. You can even share personal experiences that would make this person feel like what they think is a mountain of problems is actually nothing.
Matters have been worsened by social media, which gives all of us an audience. You post a picture and there will be lots of comments: good, bad and lies. Haven’t you seen a ‘you look beautiful’ comment on a blurry picture where even the face can’t be seen?
And we will all say ‘thank you for appreciating’! Because one has 500 friends on Facebook, then they see no need to nurture physical friendships.
It is also on social media where life is glamorous and rarely do you meet people who honestly share how they are feeling. This is the place where we post ‘hmm, he has done it again’, and leave people speculating. If most of the comments are positive or inquiring on how well the ‘again’ was, then we won’t bother to say the ‘again’ meant being battered again or one stealing or cheating again or becoming a father again.
Woe unto you if it was a bothersome ‘again’ because you will be left unwilling to say the truth since it will spoil the mood and, as a result, whatever it is, it will continue to eat at you. It will become a painful wound and when you can’t take it anymore, you will choose death.
I encourage people to talk, share the good, the bad and the ugly; find that one person in your circle that you can be very candid with and it will always leave you feeling better and ready to see the next day.
The family still plays a pivotal role in anyone’s life. Let’s not allow our family members to perish when we could have been of help; we should all be there for one another. Don’t allow anything to replace family.
Kabale Police are investigating circumstances under which a man killed his wife before he also committed suicide. Atanasio Bafekukeitaa, a resident of Nyakabungo parish in Ikumba Sub County hacked his wife, Evelyn Tukamuhebwa to death on Monday night before committing suicide.
James Nzabandora, a neighbor to the family says Bafekukeitaa has been feuding with his wife for allegedly sending food from the family store to her parents without his consent. He says efforts by residents to reconcile the two hit a dead end.
Ely Maate, the Kigezi Regional Police Spokesperson, says police conducted postmortem on the bodies and allowed the relatives of the deceased to proceed with burial arrangements. Maate has condemned the incident and urged couples to seek counseling services to resolve family disputes.
On May 2, 2015, James Kabagambe Shaka, a resident of Butare village in Rutooma ward in South division also hacked his wife, Sarah Besiime to death before committing suicide. The couple had reportedly been struggling to deal with marital challenges.
A police officer attached to Bukedea Central Police Station in Bukedea district has committed suicide. The deceased has been identified as Assistant Superintendent of Police, Ronald Wamatoi.
His lifeless body was found hanging on a tree behind the bushes at Bukedea Senior Secondary School, on Tuesday. Juma Hassan Nyene, the East Kyoga Regional police spokesperson, says Wamatoi developed a mental illness last week prompting his colleagues to notify his family in Budadiri Sironko to get him medication.
He says some family members rushed to Bukedea and picked up Wamatoi and took him home for treatment. According to Nyene, Wamatoi registered some improvement and resumed work over the weekend but disappeared shortly after, until when his body was found on a tree on Tuesday.
“This sends a strong signal to our medical personal to screen recruits for traces of mental illnesses. I think our medical team has not been checking on this,” he said.
Nyene describes the late Ronald Wamatoi as a disciplined officer, saying Uganda Police will accord him a decent burial. Some of the officers, who trained with Wamatoi, told URN on condition of anonymity, that they are saddened by his demise.