By Moses Bikala
A fisherman in Kaliro district has been hailed as a hero by his villagemates after he killed a crocodile that mauled his pregnant wife.
Mubarak Batambuze, 56, of Kibuye village, Nawaikoke sub-county in Kaliro, used a spear to stab the crocodile in the stomach shortly after it had eaten his eight-month-pregnant wife, Demeteriya Nabwire.
She was eaten by the crocodile during the early hours of Sunday morning as she went to search for firewood on the shores of Lake Kyoga.
Residents found slippers Nabwire was wearing, toes, fingers and a mobile phone at the spot where she was devoured by the deadly reptile.
Residents look at the killer crocodile after it was put out of action
Batambuze said the same crocodile is believed to have eaten six women and children who had gone to fetch water at the same spot last year.
He said after discovering that his wife had been killed by the crocodile, he went to the scene and found the beast still resting there.
“I went to a blacksmith and paid him sh20,000 so that he could make me a very sharp spear."
Batambuze with his killer weapon and the RDC addressing locals standing atop the dead crocodile
Batambuze stabbed the crocodile once in the stomach, looped it with a rope and pulled it towards the shore with the help of five other fishermen.
The braveheart was hoisted shoulder-high by the residents who praised him as a hero of the village for being brave enough to kill the crocodile that had terrorised people in the area.
Five other people survived being eaten up by a crocodile last year after they were rescued by the residents.
In those earlier incidents, the survivors lost their limbs and sustained deep cuts inflicted by the reptile.
An official of the Uganda Wildlife Authourity (UWA), John Opio, said the crocodile was 25-footer and weighed over 1,000kg.
The Kaliro district chairman, Wycliffe Ibanda, called upon UWA and the government to compensate Batambuze for the loss of his wife.
However, Opio said UWA does not compensate for people killed by crocodiles, adding that they were in the process of capturing the reptiles in the area and relocating them to Muchison Falls National Park or Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, Entebbe (UWEC).
Ibanda blamed UWA for not responding to calls to go and relocate the beasts.
“Whenever we ask them to come over they ask for fuel,” he said.
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