July 12, 2013

Police Refuses to Re-arrest DEO Over Couple Murder

Police have declined to re-arrest Tom Baloja, the Lyantonde District Education officer, in connection with the murder of a couple despite demands from Rakai residents.

Late last month, Police arrested Baloja in connection with the murder of a couple identified as Maureen Namaato and her husband Charles Yiga. The victims were residents of Sagala village in Kasaali sub county, Rakai district. He was arrested by a police flying squad after preliminary investigations linked him to the murder scene because of a long standing wrangle over land he had with the deceased.

It is alleged that Baloja, the director of Kyotera Town Academy, was involved in a land dispute with Charles Yiga.  Baloja reportedly bought the land from Yiga before putting up the school structures but then declined to give him his balance of five million shillings.

Yiga’s relatives from Kasaali sub-county brought up the dispute as evidence that Baloja could have been involved in the murder of the couple.

The family members demand that police re-arrest him and keep him in police cells for his alleged involvement in murdering their relative.

Led by Molly Nakigoye, the residents claim that it is wrong to release a murder suspect on police bond because he could influence investigations into murder. The family members accused Baloja of bribing police to release him.

The residents also petitioned MP Haruna Kasolo of Kyotera County asking him to put pressure on police to re-arrest Baloja.

However, despite these demands, police have refused to re-arrest him.

Maxwell Ogwal, the Southern Region Police Commander, says they cannot re-arrest Baloja.

He says that although Baloja was released, police still monitors him closely. He explains that police was forced to release him because they failed to link him to the crime scene.

Rose Nabakooza, the Rakai Criminal Investigations officer, refutes claims police was bribed to release Baloja. She however refuses to discuss the matter saying investigations are still going on.

Tom Baloja, the embattled Lyantonde District Education Officer, denies all allegations. He claims that the allegations are politically motivated to discredit him given the fact that he intends to contest Kyotera County Seat in the 2016.

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