A police inquest is currently underway in Namutumba District, following the mysterious death of a senior two student of Busembatia Secondary School. James Mukama was found dead in his cell at Bugobi Police Post in Bugobi Town Council, Namutumba District, on Monday morning.
Mukama had been arrested on allegations of stealing two saucepans and a passport belonging to one of the residents of Bugobi Town Council.
According to Mukama’s sister, Bridgette Nabudo, the family had planned to go to court this week to contest the allegations against him. However, his death shocked them.
Nabudo added that her brother was a hardworking boy who was committed to his gardens where he obtained school fees. His death is a significant loss to the family, as their father has lost an heir.
Veronica Namumbya, another sister to the deceased, said that she last spoke to Mukama on Sunday evening. During their conversation, he had expressed concern about the poor conditions in police cells, which she did not know would be his last speech.
Moses Nandabi, the Bugobi Town Council district councilor, blamed the police for their alleged delay in investigating. He stated that the suspect was detained for more than the stipulated 24 hours, after which a suspect must be produced in court.
In response, Diana Nandaula, the Busoga East Police Spokesperson, said that the police are doing their best to establish the cause of death. While it is true that Mukama hanged himself, investigations are ongoing to determine the circumstances surrounding his death.
The death of James Mukama in police custody raises serious questions about the treatment of suspects in police custody and the length of time they can be detained before being produced in court. The police should ensure that suspects are not mistreated and their rights are respected at all times. The government should also take steps to ensure that the police are adequately trained and equipped to carry out their duties.
Finally, the public should be sensitized about the importance of reporting suspicious activities to the police, rather than taking the law into their own hands.
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