The family of Kampala police officer Ivan Wabwire, who assaulted and murdered a moneylender on Friday, claims that their son was mentally unstable and shouldn’t have been granted access to a firearm.
The family’s stance is at odds with the statement of police spokesperson Fred Enanga that Wabwire was deemed to be “normal and sound” after a medical examination.
The suspect’s father, Mr. Kenneth Ojambo, however, informed Daily Monitor yesterday at their home in Buwalira Village, Masinya Sub-county, Busia District, that his son had been getting treatment for mental illness since 2018.
“He has been mentally sick since 2018 and was receiving treatment at Butabika Hospital,” he said.
Mr. Ojambo, presenting what he claimed to be an illness report from Butabika Hospital dated July 2021, claimed the suspect had failed to keep up with the medication he was receiving and was experiencing hallucinations.
Hearing sounds or voices that no one else can hear, seeing things that aren’t there such objects, forms, persons, or lights, and sensing or smelling things that don’t exist are all examples of hallucinations.
Mr. Ojambo claims that Wabwire joined the Force “while in good health” in 2015, but that his illness began while he was still attending the Police Training School in Kabalye, Masindi District.
He added: “He joined the police while in good health, but after some time, we received information that he had gone missing in the forest for three days. He was later found alone in the forest after a three-day search and since then, his challenges of mental health started.”
Mr. Wabwire’s family claims that his colleagues “were conscious of his ill medical condition and reached out to him for treatment at Butabika Hospital where he has been receiving treatment.”
“A doctor at Butabika Hospital had advised the police that the suspect, who is now in police custody on charges relating to murder, was not fi t to handle a gun and should not be deployed for six years,” he added.
He stated that when word got out that Mr. Wabwire had killed someone with a gun, the whole family was “surprised” and began asking questions, such as where the firearm came from and why he was deployed
Mr. Godfrey Malisi, a family member, pleaded with the deceased’s relatives to absolve Wabwire for the crime he committed.