Two men sought police protection after residents tried to lynch them, accusing them of ‘eating’ meat of a chimpanzee.
By Ismael Kasooha
KIBAALE, Western Uganda - Two men sought police protection after residents tried to lynch them, accusing them of ‘eating’ meat of a chimpanzee killed on Wednesday.
The primate, which was said to have attacked a 52-year-old man working on a coffee plantation, was speared dead by the residents.
The village chairman of Mabale in Bwikara sub-county Kibaale district Julius Kabera said that two men – one identified as Wilson Kwoyenda and the other only as Dan – from Katikengeye are accused of hiding some parts of the chimpanzee for unknown reasons.
Parts of the dead male chimp that were allegedly taken by the two men include the private parts, tongue, kidney, lungs, and others.
Kabera said that they suspect that by hiding the body parts, the two men had ulterior motives, and likened the move to cannibalism, considering that chimpanzees are a close relation to humans.
“We asked them where these parts were and they could not tell and when residents turned rowdy these people ran to Bwikara Police Post for rescue,” he said.
Allin Bazira, who was attacked by the chimp in question, wrestled it after it rammed into him unawares, and he cut off one of its hands during the fight.
Residents nearby then ran to his rescue, killing the ape in the process.
The incident was just another, following the rescue of a two-year-old boy who had been abducted by another chimpanzee in the same area.
The area chairman told New Vision that the people in the villages of Mabale and Katikengeye ate the meat of the chimpanzee they had planned to give to the dogs.
“The people ate the chimpanzee meat in hiding and that is why they roasted it deep in the bush,” he claimed.
He explained that because of fear that eating the meat would cause diseases, they decided to hunt for all people who took the meat so that it can be destroyed.
“We are worried that strange diseases could result from eating this meat and that is why we decided to hunt for the meat and burn it.”
Most of the people who are known to have eaten the meat, he said, are from the neighbouring Katikengeye village in Bwikara sub-county.
With rising concerns about the safety of the people living alongside chimps nearby in the area, Kabera directed an appeal to government to come to their rescue.
He felt government should examine whether eating ape meat poses a danger to human health.
“We are worried that this meat could be dangerous to human life and could cause a health danger to us.”
The district police Commander Kibaale John Ojokuna Elatu said that the two men rushed to police for protection but no charges have been levied against them yet.
Two arrested for ‘eating’ chimpanzee meat