Tribute to Student Shot in Free Bobi Wine Protests

3109 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The 23-year-old died on Saturday, August 25, a week after she was hit by a stray bullet during a free Bobi Wine protest in Kyebando-Kisalosalo, on the outskirts of Kampala.

Hundreds of mourners today paid glowing to tribute to Rachael Ayebazibwe, a Kyambogo University Student who was shot by a stray bullet. The 23-year-old died on Saturday, August 25, a week after she was hit by a stray bullet during a free Bobi Wine protest in Kyebando-Kisalosalo, on the outskirts of Kampala.

Ayebazibwe had completed her Bachelor in Micro-finance Degree at Kyambogo University in July and awaiting graduation in December.

Her brother Walter Mwebaze, told morners who gathered at St. Kalumba Chapel in Kyambogo that the deceased was washing clothes when she was hit with an object, which remained unclear to them until a scan indicated that a bullet, from an AK-47, had penetrated through her brain and damaged it beyond repair.

According to her auntie, Dr Loy Turyabanaye Gumisiriza, the Head of Department of Geography at Kyambogo University, Rachael went into a coma until Friday when she started showing some signs of improvement. She said the doctors had declared her brain dead but that her heart was alive.

"On Friday she started to communicate. When she saw her Mum, tears rolled down her cheeks, when she saw Walter, tears came and when she saw me, tears came. That was the only way she communicated," narrated Dr  Turyabanaye.

On Saturday morning, they told them the situation was getting out of hand and later pronounced her dead at around 6 pm. 

Mwebaze desribed her sister as a passionate, caring and hardworking. Their mother Rose who could barely speak also described her only daughter as a loving and welcoming child. Rose raised her children without her husband who encountered a serious illness that has kept him sick for more than 15 years.

"I thought that these two would study and elevate our family. They finished secondary in the same year. I sat down with Rachael and we agreed that her brother joins University first and she agreed. After that, Walter also cared for her until she finished her education," Rose said.

Rev. Abed Mwizerwa who led the mass urged the congregation to refrain from hate and condemned the mass usage of guns by security personnel in the country.

"We fear human beings. Because they want to kill us and take our property so that we lose the blessings the Lord has prepared for us. Here in Uganda, everyone is holding a gun, everyone knows to use a gun," he said.

At a time of her death, Rachael had secured a job with Community Fund Microfinance in Wandegeya, where she was retained after an impressive performance during her internship. John Mukasa, the Director of the Microfinance said she was trustworthy and committed.

"I talked to my colleagues and told them we need to retain Rachael. I drafted the letter on Thursday and I traveled to Masindi. But later, I was called and told that Rachael had been shot" Mukasa narrated.

The deceased will be laid to rest in Rwashamire, Ntungamo on Tuesday, August 28.