Uganda’s State Minister for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations, Col (rtd) Charles Okello Engola, was shot dead Tuesday morning at his home in a Kampala suburb.
The minister’s aide-de-camp Ronald Otim also sustained severe injuries and was rushed to Mulago hospital for treatment.
“He (Engola) was shot at his residence in Kyanja by one of his bodyguards who allegedly fired several shots at close range. He fled from the scene up to the trading centre at Kyanja, Ring Road where he entered a salon and also shot himself dead,” police spokesperson, Fred Enanga told journalists in Kampala.
The shooter was identified as private Wilson Sabiiti.
The crime scene was cordoned off by security personnel as police launched investigations into the incident. The deputy Inspector General of Police, Maj Gen Geoffrey Tumusiime Katsigazi and the director of Criminal Investigation Department, Maj Tom Magambo were the first security chiefs to arrive at the minister’s home.
Earlier, an eyewitness had claimed that the bodyguard complained that the slain minister owed him several months of unpaid salary as he shot in the air to warn civilians at Kyanja town, moments before turning the gun on himself.
“The guard said he hadn’t been paid Ush4 million (about $1,000). He said he had a pregnant woman and his children were not going to school yet the minister's children were schooling,” the eyewitness said.
But, Gender and Labour minister Betty Amongi, who was among the first government officials who arrived at Engola’s home after the shooting, told journalists that Sabiiti “was a new bodyguard.”
“He has been working as his bodyguard for a month. He came from Bombo and joined other security guards assigned to the minister from the Ministry of Gender ad Labour,” Ms Amongi said.
Police spokesperson, Mr Enanga, said it was too early to confirm the motive of the shooting.
“The investigation is currently in the early stages of review...We don’t want to speculate into the motive of the shooting until we have confirmed,” the police spokesman said.
The minister was on his way to attend a Cabinet sitting when he was shot, according to Minister of ICT and national guidance, Chris Baryomunsi.