By HOMELAND MEDIA TEAM
A traffic police officer, who was shot in the leg by Uganda People’s Defence Forces soldiers in January while doing his work in Ntinda, has sued the Attorney General (AG) and two soldiers, demanding compensation for the injuries sustained.
Police constable Robert Mukebezi through his lawyer Maxim Mutabingwa of M/s Mutabingwa & Co Advocates, sued the AG because he is the statutory defendant for suits against the government while he accuses soldiers Maj Alfa Okuo and Cpl Bashir Mango of participating in his unlawful shooting.
“The plaintiff shall aver that the shooting was done intentionally by the aforesaid 2nd (Maj Okuo) and 3rd defendants (Cpl Mango), the UPDF officers, using a UPDF military vehicle and within the course of their duty or employment and the defendant is vicariously liable for the acts of the UPDF soldiers while the 2nd and 3rd defendants are also liable for their unlawful acts occasioning personal injury to the plaintiff,” the suit states.
Mukebezi’s leg was amputated as a result of the incident.
The prime suspect, an Uganda People’s Defence Forces soldier, Cpl Mango is said to be on the run. The police have not made much progress in the case.
But Mr. Mukebezi hasn’t been working and he is struggling to fend for his family. His lawyers say the shooting was intentional and unlawful.
“Also as a result of the aforesaid unlawful shooting of the plaintiff, the plaintiff suffered a lot of pain, anguish, agony and inconvenience and was admitted to different hospitals for a period of more than two months where he came out without his right leg,” the suit reads in part.
“The plaintiff, a young man of only 28 years, a police constable with a lot of future ahead of him has had his future shattered as he cannot now work and live a normal life without the right leg and cannot also be able to work and live a normal family life, which facts should be put into consideration in assessing and awarding damages,” the suit adds.
“The plaintiff’s claim against the defendants jointly and severally is for general damages, aggravated damages, punitive/exemplary damages for mental shock, interest on damages and costs of the suit,” it further reads.
Mr. Mutabingwa said since the notice to sue was sent to the defendants, they have been ignored.
“My clerk went to serve the two soldiers at Mbuya but they (soldiers) were hostile to him. He was told to serve the two soldiers personally from their homes. So I want to apply to the court to allow me to serve the summons on the two soldiers by way of substituted service, through newspapers,” he said.
Mr. Mukebeezi’s troubles started on January 16 when he was sent to recover the wreckage of a military vehicle that had knocked a Kobil Petrol Station signpost on Ntinda-Kiwatule road. The soldiers, who were in the car, fled the scene leaving the car behind. However, while towing away the car, he was intercepted by three UPDF soldiers traveling in a military pick-up truck. After an altercation between the soldiers and Mr. Mukebezi, one of them shot him in the leg and the trio sped away leaving the injured officer on the roadside.
After the incident, the army promised to take care of Mr. Mukebezi’s medical bills.