Police in Buyende are hunting for a man who beat up a neighbor’s 17-year-old son to death, accusing him of stealing his watermelon. Patrick Okona, 40, and his friend, who is also on the run, beat William Isabirye on Friday accusing him of stealing watermelon.
Isabirye’s body was found lying in a pool of blood the following morning. The incident happened in Igwaaya Butemeera, Kagulu sub county. According to the Police spokesperson for Busoga North, Michael Kasadha, the area LC1 chairperson, Eryasafu Tulya, said Okona had previously reported the theft of his fruits, warning that he would deal with culprits.
After the beating, Okona told the deceased’s father, William Kyakulaga, that he had given Isabirye a thorough beating and that he would never steal his fruits again. Loud wails from the residents filled the area as the Police removed the body from the scene of crime.
In retaliation, the angry residents descended on Okona’s huts and burnt them. The Police arrived in time and dispersed the mob as it chased after Okona’s family. The family is taking refuge at Irundu Police Station.
“Yes, Okona broke the law by killing the boy over a mere fruit, but residents should not have attacked his family,” Kasadha said.
Muhammad Muzaale, who represented the MP for Budiope East, Godfrey Dhamuzungu, warned residents against mob justice.
“Stop pouring blood over watermelon. Remember people killed each other during the vanilla times. God was angered and the crop is no more,” he said.