Known for growing rice over the decades, Kibimba Rice Scheme in Busoga region could turn into a place where workers are killed for allegedly stealing rice, yet the police officers nearby do nothing to bring the killers to book.
According to the June 12 letter addressed to the Inspector General of Police, Martins Ochola Okoth, by Muwema & Co. Advocates & Solicitors, seven labourers have so far been shot dead within the rice scheme at different time periods.
The letter partly says: “The information further alleges that six labourers have been shot dead in the last three months and the only role that the police of that area has played is to pick the bodies and deposit them at the Bugiri Hospital Mortuary.”
The latest to be shot by security guards within the scheme is a one Anthony Syuwu, 35. He is alleged to have been killed on May 18, 2018, having worked at the scheme for 12 years. His family is seeking legal redress as no compensation for the loss of their dear one who left behind two children, Kevin Shambi, four years and Prince Mamayi, two years.
Asked for their side of the story, Kibimba authorities refused to comment saying the allegations were conclusively handled by both Chieftaincy of Military Police and police. “That matter was handled by CMI and police. But if you want more facts, come to Kibimba”.
It is said Syuwu on that fateful day was short dead alongside his co-work only identified as Fred at about 10:00pm. Syuwu was buried on May at his ancestral home in Buwalimbwa Village, Namaloko Parish, Bukhofu Sub County in Manafwa District. His body is said to have had two bullet wounds through the neck and stomach.
The LCI Chairman of Buwalimbwa Village reported the murder to the police at at Butiru but they have not received any assistance.
“The relatives of Syuwu did not report the murder to Kibimba Police Station because the officers at the station did not bother to respond to the gun shots on the night of the 18th May 2018 and the resultant deaths which became known to them,” reads part of the letter, which continues that the police much as they provided vehicles to dump bodies at the Bugiriri Hospital Mortuary did not do extra role.
Meanwhile the late Syuwu’s mother, Jenepher Nambuya who has also been working at Kibimba Rice Scheme fled work after the killing of her son and has expressed fear for her life.
The lawyers now want government to investigate Kibimba rice scheme and their security guards for the murder of the alleged thieves or robbers at the company. They further want government to investigate police officers at Kibimba and Bugiri police for allegedly being accessories to the murders. The lawyers also want government to provide personal security to Ms Nambuya, now living in fear.
The lawyers have copied the letter to Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, MP Rose Mutonyi Masaba (Bubulo West) and MP Solomon Serwanyi (Bukooli Central). Tilda is owned by an American multi national Hain Celestial.