The Minister of Internal Affairs Gen. Jeje Odongo yesterday came under fire over the alleged killing of Alex Ocama by reportedly Maj. Gen. Charles Otema’s guard only identified as Juma. Otema is commander Reserve Force.
Raising on issues of national importance during plenary, Nwoya County MP Simon Oyet said Ochan, a resident in Nwoya sub-county Nwoya district Ocama was shot dead after he was accused of clearing a piece of land belonging to Otema.
Oyet informed the House chaired by deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah that this is not the first time UPDF officers are shooting residents dead in the area and demanded for an explanation from the Minister.
“I speak with a heavy heart. This man was with his family and committed no crime. Sadly, the killers are on the run and the authorities have not taken action has taken place,” Oyet complained.
In a statement to the House, Odongo explained that although investigations are still going on, the doctors in Gulu Hospital where Ocama body was taken for postmortem confirmed that he had died of bullet wounds.
The Minister said according to Ocama’s wife and daughter who were with him at the site, he was shot by Juma although he feigned ignorance.
Odongo said Juma later ran away and Police is still searching for him to assist them in the investigations
“Juma reportedly came to the group ( Ocama, his wife and daughter) and asked them why they were clearing the bush. The wife and the daughter ran away and left Ocama with Juma. After a few minutes, they heard a gunshot. They never saw him again. They reported the matter to Police which has since swung into action,” he explained.
Odongo attributed the killing to land conflict in the area and warned that such incidents will not stop unless the land problems are resolved.
During the meeting, some MPs wondered whether the role of soldiers has since been reduced to guarding people’s farms.
“The UPDF is a much respected army but of recent, they have been reduced to guarding farms. What exactly is happening? Can the minister bring a comprehensive report on the matter,” MP Gilbert Oulanya asked.