By Umaru Kashaka
The Massachusetts Police in the United States has ruled out foul play in the death of Umar Sengendo Sebaggala, his father Haji Meddie Sebaggala, has said.
“They found no evidence of murder or visible signs of injury on the body. They discovered that the person he was playing with in the tennis court before collapsing was his young brother (Isaac Ssempala) who could not murder him,” Sebaggala, the proprietor of Sebaggala & Sons Electro Centre in Kampala, has told the New Vision.
The city mogul also said that the tennis court in which Sengendo collapsed was found by the police to be “up to the standards” for the game.
“That is the position as of now. But the Lowell General Hospital in Boston took some samples from his body before releasing the body on Wednesday evening. The Supreme Mufti, Sheikh Zubair Kayongo who happened to be in the US at the time of his death led Salat al-Janazah (Islamic funeral prayer) in Boston for him,” he explained.
“We followed the prayers via Skype. His body is spending six hours at Logan International Airport in East Boston neighbourhood of Boston, Massachusetts. The body will be put on KLM flight and will arrive on Saturday and burial be on Sunday in Kisaasi (city suburb) at his ancestral home,” he noted.
Sengendo, 26, reportedly collapsed as he was playing tennis with Ssempala, with whom they lived in an apartment in Lowell, a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts and died shortly after arrival at Lowell General Hospital.
Sebaggala stated that Sengendo was pursuing his Master’s degree in Business Administration at Boston University and was expecting to finish next month.
“It is a great loss. He was my buddy. I can only say Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un (surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return),” he remarked.
He shared with New Vision a text message Sengendo sent him using WhatsApp two days before his demise, saying: “May Our Deeds Attacks Allah’s Love Noor and Barakah so that Our Lives may be filled with Peace, Happiness and Freedom From any Calamity. Jummah Mubarak.”
He also said he got another text message on the fateful day (Sunday) saying “As-salamu alaykum”, meaning peace be upon him.
Mariam Namayanja Sebaggala, the mother of the deceased, said the shocking news of his death hit her like a thunderbolt.
"We were told he had just finished his Iftar and then decided to play tennis with his young brother Isaac. Isaac found him down after picking the tennis ball he had hit with a baseball bat and could not believe it,” the mother explained.
She described Sengendo as a religious young man who always had his siblings at heart and could call for the umpteenth time to find out how they were doing.
“We shall miss him. I pray to Allah to forgive him and grant him Jannah Firidaus,” Namayanja prayed.
About the deceased
Sengendo died single with no child. He attended Kabojja International School and also joined Kampala Parents School for his primary education.
He later joined Rainbow International School for secondary education before travelling to Lincoquin University in Malaysia, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.