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Richard Muhumuza, The Soldier Who Died Protecting Ps Bujingo

Richard Muhumuza, The Soldier Who Died Protecting Ps Bujingo

Ten years ago, the late Richard Muhumuza joined the Ugandan army. He probably had no idea then that along the way, he would one day be assigned duties as a close protection officer, guarding a high-profile religious person.

But 10 months ago, the Corporal, who was now serving in the Special Forces Command (SFC), the highly-trained army formation among whose many roles are to guard the President, first family and other very important people (VIPs), found himself deployed as a bodyguard to Pastor Aloysius Bugingo, head of the House of Prayer Ministries International in Kampala.

The deceased, who colleagues said was in his late 30s, hailed from Sembabule District, a cattle-keeping district populated by a diverse range of Bantu and Hamite peoples which sits close to the Equator.

Yesterday, Maj Jimmy Omara, the spokesperson at the Command, expressed his condolences for one of their own, speaking touchingly about the fallen soldier.

At the time of his death, Maj Omara revealed in the telephone interview that when security picked up intelligence information about increasing threats being made against several high-profile people months ago, a decision was made to take pre-emptive action. Individuals of varying profiles either requested or were offered protection.

Probably given his close association with the President, first family and known active support for the government, Pastor Bugingo found himself being guarded by a Special Forces Corporal.

“Deployments are done based on threat analysis. So, there was a time when many high-profile people in the country were receiving threats to their lives. Pastor Bugingo felt that he should be given security,” Maj Omara said.

Issue

“Getting a security personnel is not done by SFC, it starts from the Chief of Defence Forces and finally to the commander who looks for who to assign to whom.”

The late Muhumuza was armed but the suddenness of Tuesday’s night’s attack left him no chance to fight back.

“When you are on deployment, you go with all your service equipment, we are saddened by his loss and we have launched investigations into the matter to find out what exactly transpired,” Maj Omara said.

He added: “Once postmortem is done, burial arrangements shall kick off. He is still lying in the morgue in Mulago Hospital. Uganda People’s Defence Forces will handle burial preparations.”

Maj Omara confirms what the pastor appeared to have been aware of for some time – that his life was in danger.

In a video seen on social media, Pastor Bugingo during one of his prayer sermons, said there is proof that there are those who wanted to see him dead last year.

“Me and you, ok me I have proof. There are many who wanted me to die this year (last year) they are surprised that I am still alive. Clap for God, many have even prayed, fasted, they have even invested in money so that I die, some things we can’t say, but we are go through a lot,” the pastor says in the one minute video.

Cpl Muhumuza died at approximately 9pm on January 2 after unidentified assailants opened fire on Pastor Bugingo’s vehicle at Bwalakata Junction on National Housing Raod in Namungoona, Rubaga Division of Kampala.

“Despite sustaining injuries during the attack, Pastor Aloysious Bugingo managed to transport the vehicle to Mulago Hospital. Regrettably, his bodyguard, Muhumuza Richard, succumbed to the assault and was confirmed dead upon arrival at the hospital,” a police statement issued yesterday said.

By press time, information about Corporal Muhumuza; his family background, schools, marital status and previous deployments were not immediately clear.

Both Maj Omara and officials at the army’s Directorate of Records went back and forth with Daily Monitor on the matter, without providing much by press time.

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