EXILED: BBC Stringer Henry Gombya

“There is nothing as painful as not burying your own,” celebrated Ugandan BBC stringer Henry Gombya, has said.

Gombya, who has lived in self-exile since 1987, was reacting to the death of his elder brother, one David Senoga.

According to Gombya, who will miss the burial, Senoga died suddenly Friday morning at his home in Kampala.

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“There is nothing as painful as not being able to bury your own when exiled. David joins a long list of members of my family, relatives and friends who have died since I was forced to leave Uganda over 30 years ago and who I have been unable to escort to their resting place,” he opened up.

Gombya fled Uganda in 1987 following the murder of his friend, Andrew Kayiira, the former chairman of Uganda Freedom Movement/Army (UFM/A) until April 1986 when the UFA was dissolved into the national army.

Kayiira’s murder came after President Yoweri Museveni executed a successful coup, declared himself President and appointed Kayiira his minister for energy.

Within months Kayiira was sacked and arrested on suspicion of treason. He was later released due to lack of evidence, but President Museveni maintained his former minister had plotted against the regime.

Fresh out of jail, and fearing attack from Museveni supporters, Kayiira sought sanctuary at the home of the BBC freelance reporter in late February 1987.

Available information indicates that on March 6, 1987 around 11pm, Kayiira and his girlfriend were at Gombya’s home in a suburb of Kampala with the journalist’s wife and two nieces.

There had been a power cut and it was a dark night, but the group was listening to music on a battery-powered radio. As Gombya’s wife, Vicky, cleared the plates, ten intruders appeared from two directions, some armed and dressed in military attire.

The diners fled into the house and locked themselves in various rooms. Gombya escaped out of his bedroom window and hid in a banana plantation until dawn.

Kayiira was discovered next morning on the floor of an upstairs bedroom. He had been shot four times. Gombya fled Uganda after the killing and now lives in England.


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