Mbarara Man Disappears Without Trace After Police Arrest Top story

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In short
The Mbarara Hospital Director, Dr. George Upenytho wrote to the family through their lawyer, Ngaruye Ruhindi Spencer on March 17th, 2014, saying basing on records from the mental ward, there is no proof showing that Ruganda was admitted there during the specified period.

A family in Mbarara district is still searching for their father who disappeared following his arrest by Police.  Gilvazio Rugunda was picked up by Police from his home in Kibwijo Cell in Rubindi Sub County on February 6th, 2009 for allegedly cutting and injuring a pig belonging to his neighbor, Lawrence Abaine for trespassing on his land.
 

His arrest came after Abaine lodged a complaint at Mbarara Central Police Station, which was registered under reference number CRB 465/2009. Following his arrest, Rugunda was held at Rubindi Sub County headquarters for two days before he was transferred to Mbarara Central Police Station.

 
That was the last time his family heard from him as his whereabouts have remained unknown to date.  His wife, Dinavence Mbabazi and children have searched for Rugunda since then to no avail. Mbabazi says that she traveled to Mbarara hoping to see her husband, only to be told he had developed mental problems and was taken to Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital for treatment.

 
According to Mbabazi, she rushed to Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital but still couldn't trace her husband.
 
 
//Cue in: "Omushaija wangye omumwaka.....
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The Mbarara Hospital Director, Dr. George Upenytho wrote to the family through their lawyer, Ngaruye Ruhindi Spencer on March 17th, 2014, saying basing on records from the mental ward, there is no proof showing that Ruganda was admitted there during the specified period.
 

Mbabazi explains that after failing to trace the whereabouts of her husband, they tasked the Criminal Investigations Department at Mbarara Central Police Station to account for him in vain.

 
She says they demanded for a formal report from the Police detailing the disappearance of Rugunda. The then Officer In charge of the Criminal Investigations Department, Allan Twishime wrote to the family on December 13th 2010 indicating that Rugunda developed mental illness while in custody and was taken to hospital.
 

URN has learnt that the detective who handled Rugunda's case identified as Celestine Onyeme was transferred to Mbale at the time of the suspect's disappearance. Dissatisfied with the explanation from the Police in Mbarara, the family approached the Professional Standards Unit in Kampala for help. 
 

In an April 17th, 2011 report under reference number PSU/GEF/1592/2009 compiled by Freddie Awacnedi on behalf of the Inspector General of Police, he recommended the prosecution of Onyeme for neglect of duty. He accused Onyeme of abandoning the suspect at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital.

Denis Ngabirano says the disappearance of his brother in law has brought untold suffering to the family. According to Ngabirano, Rugunda was a farmer, seasonal businessman and sole bread winner for his family. He says the family is uncertain whether Rugunda is still alive or dead.

 
 //Cue in: "tukahika omwirwariro ....
Cue out...tubagambire eka tugihamize:"//
 

Isaac Mugisha, the Rwizi Regional Professional Standards officer told our reporter at his office that he only learnt of the case on April 26th, 2017 and is waiting for the family of the missing person to show up.

 
He also disclosed that says he is already liaising with the Police headquarters to ensure that the matter is put to rest.

 

Tagged with: police gilvazio rugunda

About the author

Anthony Kushaba
For Anthony Kushaba, journalism is not just a job; it is a calling. Kushaba believes journalism is one of the few platforms where the views of the oppressed and margainalised can be heard. This is what his journalism aims to do: bring to light untold stories.

Kushaba is the Mbarara region URN bureau chief. Mitooma, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Sheema, Isingiro, and Kiruhura districts fall under his docket. Kushaba has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Kushaba is a journalism graduate from Uganda Christian University Study Centre at Bishop Barham College in Kabale. Before joining URN, Kushaba worked with Voice of Kigezi (2008), Bushenyi FM (2010) and later on to Voice of Muhabura.

Kushaba's journalism interests centre on conflict, peace and electoral reporting. Kushaba occasionally writes on tourism, health, religion and education. He describes himself as highly driven and will pursue a tip until it yields a story.