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Masaka Catholic Priest Charged with Murder of Lynched Suspected Thief

The thief who was completely naked at the time of arrest was beaten by the mob but when police rescued him, instead of taking him to hospital, they locked him in a cell where he died.
Fr. Richard Mugisha of Bisanje Catholic Parish


Father Richard Mugisha of Bisanje Catholic Parish, Masaka Diocese, has been summoned over the death of a suspected thief.

Trouble for Mugisha started on Wednesday night when the suspect shattered the priest’s car window and hid inside it. Ronald KyeyuneKyeyune, a resident of Bisanje village in Kimanya-Kabonera division, Masaka City, run out of luck when the village security group members caught him. He was completely naked at the time of the arrest. 

The angry mob pounced on him and brutally beat him up leaving him in critical condition. The police were called to the scene to rescue the suspect.

For some unclear reason however, instead of taking the critically injured man to the hospital, the police made a the decision to lock him in the cell, until he passed on late in the night. 

When he finally died, the police then took the corpse to Masaka Regional referral hospital. A postmortem is reportedly being conducted on it and  investigations into the matter have commenced on General Inquiry File GEF: 177/2021. 

Basing on police preliminary investigations, it is alleged that the mob acted on Mugisha’s command to lynch the suspect. 

According to Mugisha, it is the community vigilante group that arrested Kyeyune and handed him over to the police when he was still alive. He says it was the police’s responsibility to take him to hospital but it shocked him to now be charged with murder. 

He further adds that he also wanted to know the motive behind the suspects’ action only to be told that he had died later in a police custody. Mugisha was expected to return to Masaka police station on Friday for further questioning but he was represented by his lawyer Alexander Lule. 

According to Lule, they are to return to the police on Thursday next week.

Muhammad Nsubuga, the Southern Regional Police spokesperson, says that investigations into the matter are still ongoing and could not say much since it may jeopardise ongoing inquiries.   

The priest became one of the prominent priests in the region over his controversial remarks about President Yoweri Museveni’s leadership in addition to rallying Ugandans to vote for change in the 2021 general elections. 

He further attacked Brig Deus Sande, the commander- UPDF Armoured Brigade Unit- Masaka, for saying that the army was not ready to hand over power to Robert Kyagulanyi, the National Unity Platform leader, in case he won elections. 

According to Fr. Ronald Mayanja, the Masaka Diocesan Spokesperson, the diocese leadership is aware of Mugisha’s fate and they are ready to stand with him during the tough times.

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