Police spokesperson for Rwizi region Ibin Senkumbi speaking to journalists on Monday
Police in Mbarara is investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed a forest in Nyarubare, Bugamba Rwampara over the weekend. The fire gutted Kikunda a 10 hectare forest owned by a one Robert Ahimbisibwe at around 2:30pm on Saturday.
The fire left 5 people dead as they attempted to put it down, to prevent it from destroying the neighboring property. Those dead included; Jonah Tuhairwe 25, Godfrey Koraho 52, Charles Asiimwe 32, Perez Ndyomugabe 32 and Tobias Ikiriza 25yrs.
According to police spokesperson for Rwizi region, Ibin Senkumbi, Ndyomugabe, Ikiriza and Asiimwe were lumberjacks in the forest employed by Ahimbisibwe.
Senkumbi also said a one Nyangoma Twongyeirwe, a resident in the area is suspected to have deliberately torched the forest. Residents had attempted to lynch her following the incident when police swung in and rescued her from the furious mob. She is currently detained at Ntungamo police station.
However some residents told Chimpreports that a woman identified as Jonah was burning grass in her garden neighboring the forest at around 2pm in the afternoon when the fire spread and gutted the forest. Jonah is said to have quickly called on his son to stop the fire when the two unfortunately lost their lives in the process.
Three of the bodies were taken to Mbarara hospital for postmortem while others were taken to Ntungamo for burial.
Senkumbi said police is still conducting investigations to establish the cause of the fire.
The case is registered at Mbarara police station under Ref no. 2223/08/2016.
Ahimbisibwe, to whom the forest belonged, told Chimpreports that he was earning over Ugx 50 million annually from selling timber and employing 20 workers. He said the incident is a big loss to him and appealed to government to assist him.
#mbarara forest fire