Uganda has lost a boxing legend to police brutality with another former pugilist is missing as the East African nation grapples with civilian unrest ahead of the 2021 national elections.
President Yoweri Museveni on Thursday confirmed that Isaac Ssenyange, alias Mando Zebra, a former captain of the Bombers was killed by his forces.
Meanwhile former Ugandan professional pugilist Justin Juuko has been missing for the last two weeks.
Juuko who is also a leader and activist for the opposition party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) was reportedly abducted by the security forces on the 12th of December and his whereabouts is still unknown.
His abduction is linked to his strong political stand against the current regime.
Opposition Leader Kizza Besigye has since raised issues about the alleged forceful abduction and unwarranted death of Ugandan sports personalities perceived to be critical of the current regime.
“Information was presented that he (Juuko) had been charged in a Military Unit Disciplinary Committee on 22nd Dec and remanded in an undisclosed place,”Besigye said in a statement seen by Sports News.
More devastating news, however, was the murder of Ssenyange, a former Ugandan pugilist, who made his professional boxing debut in 2012 against Kenyan Patrick Amote.
Ssenyange will be remembered for captaining Uganda to the 10th All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique in 2011.
The late skipper was the in-charge of general duties at the Uganda Boxing Federation (UBF) a job he did besides running his own boxing club, Zebra Boxing.
A ‘sorrowful’ Museveni has promised to ‘bring to book’ Ssenyange’s killers even as he termed his death as “devastating”.
“This is sad and devastating and I AM VERY SORRY about this. I will keep on this case and will bring every finding to the knowledge of his family and the murderers will be dealt with accordingly. I AM SO SORRY.”
“Indeed, Zebra was meant to come and see me when he was killed. I telephoned his wife who narrated to me the events in detail.
“Zebra’s wife told me people in police uniform came to pick Zebra but he jumped over the wall and could have met another group who shot him.
“At first I thought they were thugs disguising in uniform, but as I continued investigations, I found out that Zebra was killed by security personnel.
Ssenyange’s bullet-ridden body was identified by his son before it was taken to the morgue.
There have been reported cases of police shootings in Uganda recently. Early this week, a Ugandan Journalist was reportedly shot dead by the police.