LWENGO: Fred Bukenya, one of the survivors of machete attacks in Lwengo district, is struggling to rebuild his life from the grisly incidents that befell him and his family.
Bukenya, aged 37 years and a father of eight children, has for the last seven months been accommodating his family in a shabby pigsty after their house was burnt down by thugs.
On August 28th, last year, thugs raided Bukenya’s home at Nabyewanga village in Kingo Sub, Lwengo district, and set his house on fire after the occupants declined to open it for them.
Bukenya says he has since then failed to reconstruct the razed house and has chosen to seek refuge in a pigsty as he mobilises for the required resources.
The victim, who is a motorcycle mechanic, says he literally lost everything in the arson, including his toolbox, and that he is even struggling to fend for the family.
“I am still seeking solutions to reconstruct another house, but everything needs money. The tools I could use to get money were all burnt to ashes and I have since remained stranded,” he says.
He says that he sold off some of his other properties to meet the medical bills of their children, who sustained serious fire burns during the unfortunate attack.
Bukenya laments that he is also overwhelmed by the situation in which his family is living, indicating that his children are now suffering from recurrent fevers due to sleeping in the cold.
Before the incident occurred, according to him, the family had harvested and stocked dried cassava and maize, which they intended to take for grinding into flour, which they could feed on for at least four months. However, all of these perished in the house fire.
His wife, Resty Namagembe, says that they are now afraid of the coming rainy season, which will badly affect them.
Sometimes we are worried that snakes and other harmful animals may attack us during the night because we almost sleep in the open, “she says.
The family stays in a wooden pigsty, which is visibly in poor shape, with wide openings that are fixed with torn polythene sheets intended to prevent wind blasts from directly hitting the occupants.
Namagembe says that after the incident, some kindhearted people had promised to support them with items to reconstruct the house, but the pledges have also not come to pass.
“I am equally in the same situation as those who lost their dear ones to machete-wielding thugs. We lost everything, and I thought we would also benefit from the government’s condolence package, “she says.”
Each of the 28 families that lost their relatives in the attacks was given 10 million shillings by President Yoweri Museveni as his condolence contribution.
Namagembe argues that they also qualify for the support to enable them to rebuild their home.
Ibrahim Kitatta, the Lwengo L.CV chairperson, noted that he visited the family and was shocked by their situation, which prompted him to appeal for any help from the office of the President, which he is however, still waiting for.
But he says, “I’ve got to continue to see that at least they are also supported.”