Local Defence Units personnel in Karamoja have shot dead an upcoming long-distance runner, claiming they mistook him for a cattle rustler running away from arrest.
Jorem Egwau aged 18 years was shot dead in the early morning of Saturday at Lokwamoru village, Narisae parish in Lorengedwat town council in Nabilatuk district while on his routine morning running exercise.
Simon Korobe, a resident of Lokwamoru village said the deceased has never in any way conceivable been part of cattle rustlers adding that he has only been running his mobile money shop in Lorengedwat town council, besides being a sports enthusiast.
“It’s really a pity that the LDUs can claim that this man who has been doing his routine running every morning can be mistaken for a cattle thief,” he said.
Joyce Anyakun, another resident described the deceased as a “jolly boy” who has never had any wrangle with anyone.
“He has been a source of help to many of us, when you get a problem and you got to borrow some money from him, he would give you without lending,” she said.
Micheal Longole the Karamoja regional police Spokesperson confirmed the incident describing it as unfortunate.
Longole said the deceased fell into an ambush laid by LDUs to catch some cattle rustlers adding and he was mistaken to be one of the cattle rustlers.
“The deceased was on his routine running exercise and fell into an ambush laid by LDUs hunting for rustlers who had crossed to raid animals in Napak, so when these LDUs saw the deceased running, they didn’t take time to identify him and they shot him dead,” he explained.
Mr.Longole said the police has opened up the general inquiries file and called for calm.
Karamoja region which had enjoyed peace for the last 14 years is currently facing a wave of cattle rustling and road ambushes.
Despite the presence of president Museveni in the region, cattle rustlers have continued terrorizing the region without any fear.
The president has been meeting the district leaders and commanders in Karamoja to understand the whole issue of the resurgence of insecurity in Karamoja.
On Saturday the cattle rustlers attacked a village next to the presidential state lodge in Morulinga in Kangole town council, killing one person and raiding 20 heads of cattle.