By Henry Sekanjako and Joyce Namutebi
Parliament has asked government to compensate families of the February 7, 2014 shooting at Opit trading center in Gulu district where one person was instantly killed and four others severely injured by Private (pte) Alfred Drani, a local defence unit (LDU) solider of a company of Alpha Battalion 4 division.
According to a statement on Opit killing presented to parliament by defence minister Crispus Kiyonga on Wednesday, Pte Drani shot dead a one Richard Obongonyinge and also injured four others at a local bar in Opit trading center.
One of the injured persons, Stephen Odokonyero later died at Lacor Hosipital where he had been admitted on February 17.
“ We deeply regret these needless deaths, on April 17, 2014, Pte Drani was sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment , he is now serving his sentence in Gulu government prison,” said Kiyonga.
He further explained that when Pte Drani shoot and killed Obongonyinge, Odokonyero and also injured three others, he was not on official duty adding that he was using a private gun which case carries no legal obligation to pay compensation to anybody .
However, the MPs expressed concern over what they called continuous misuse of government fire arms by both army and police officers who shoot at innocent people whenever there is a misunderstanding with civilians.
The MPs demanded that government gives compassion compensation to the families of the killed and injured persons by pte Drani.
“Government should compensate these families, how do you allow an officer move with a gun in a public place,” asked Betty Aol, the Gulu district woman MP.
According to the deputy attorney general, Fred Ruhindi, under the criminal law, offences committed by individual officers are personal adding that government can only give compassionate compensation as a favour and not a right.
“Compassionate compensation is there under the ex-gratia, the executive has on several occasions helped the aggrieved parties access this compensation,” said Ruhindi.
Meanwhile the MPs have asked government to consider fencing off its barracks across the country to avoid smuggling out of government guns by officers who misuse the firearms to kill innocent civilians.
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