Soldier arrested over murder of NRM official

Man Jose Kayima

Authorities in the town of Kumi have detained a soldier on suspicion of murdering Julius Lebo, who held the position of district NRM party National Executive Committee workers league publicity secretary. Lebo, previously a primary school teacher at Kadesoko II Primary School in Pallisa district, met his tragic end while reportedly heading home on a Wednesday night.

His lifeless body was discovered approximately 100 meters from his residence in Oladot, Mukongoro sub-county, Kumi district. Identified as Daniel Olupot, the suspect currently in custody serves as a UPDF soldier, previously deployed in Somalia but presently on leave, as confirmed by Oscar Ageca, spokesperson for the Kyoga East Police region.

Ageca revealed that police investigations, aided by a sniffer dog, led them to Olupot’s residence. Although initially absent, Olupot surrendered to the authorities hours later. Ageca officially announced the detention of Private Daniel Olupot on murder allegations, referencing the case file number 104/2024

Preliminary inquiries suggest a connection between the murder and a land dispute, given that the victim was a relative of the suspect. In the aftermath of the murder, Olupot’s property was subjected to vandalism, with some structures set ablaze.

At the time of reporting, Julius Lebo’s body remained at Kumi Mortuary following a postmortem examination. According to a family member named Tadeo Ojobit, the autopsy revealed signs of strangulation, back injuries, and the presence of rat poison in the victim’s mouth.

Ojobit disclosed that tensions escalated upon Olupot’s return from Somalia, particularly after a court ruling favoring the deceased in a legal dispute. Suspicions arose regarding Olupot’s dissatisfaction with the court’s decision.

Expressing shock and sorrow over the tragic incident, Sam Opolot, the Kumi district NRM party chairperson, remembered Lebo as a diligent individual who ascended from a district workers’ publicity role to secretary of the workers’ league at the National Executive Committee (NEC) in Kumi.

Opolot urged law enforcement to expedite their investigation, seeking justice for the slain NRM official. Notably, during the previous general election, Julius Lebo had expressed aspirations to run for the position of LC3 Mukongoro sub-county, although his plans were thwarted due to his ongoing civil service status.

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