Pte Wilson Sabiti, who shot dead the state minister for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations, Col (rtd) Charles Okello Engola served in Somalia for a full year, according to the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF).
The shooting occurred on Tuesday morning at the minister’s home in Kyanja, a Kampala suburb, and was suspected to be related to job frustrations. The minister’s aide-de-camp (ADC), Lt Ronald Otim, was also injured in the shooting. Sabiti subsequently shot himself dead at a nearby salon.
Col Deo Akiiki, deputy Defence ministry spokesman says that Sabiiti who hails from Mubali village in Kabarole district was deployed in Somalia between 2020 and 2021 as part of the African Union Transition Mission.
Sabiti held the lowest rank in the military but was selected by his superiors to undertake an intermediate non-commissioned officers course at the Junior Staff and Command College in Jinja.
After completing the course in February this year, he returned to Guard Battalion in Bombo before being deployed to guard the late minister last month. Akiiki has acknowledged the need for more routine mental health checkups of soldiers to avoid similar incidents in the future.
“We have a department under the Chieftaincy of Medical Services, which gives counselling and guidance. But yes we have to put in more effort to make sure that our soldiers from wars are more checked to avoid such regrettable acts,” he said.
Sabiti’s body is currently in Bombo, and his funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.