A security guard attached to Gulu
College of Health Sciences is seeking justice after being assaulted by the Gulu
Resident District Commissioner, Maj. Santo Okot Lapolo mid last month.
Simon Ojara alleges that Maj Lapolo slapped him severally on September 16th
for declining to open the gate of the College when a Covid19 patient was rushed
to the facility for treatment.
Gulu College of Health Sciences,
which seats next to Gulu Regional Referral Hospital is the designated treatment
unit for Covid19 patients. More than 177 positive cases evacuated from eight
districts of Acholi sub-region are being treated at the college.
Ojara, who was on a duty on the
fateful night disclosed that he was under strict instructions from management
not to open the gate for new patients because of space constraints. He says
when an ambulance evacuating a positive patient approached the gate he declined
“The RDC was the called in and he
coerced me to open the gate and he slapped me while the District Police
Commander Emmanuel Mafundo looked on before he snatched the keys and gave to
the policemen.” Ojara told URN.
George Okot, the Head of Security at the College explained that they informed
Grace Aninge the Principal of the College who then instructed them to go and
report the matter to Gulu Central Police Station.
“I accompanied Ojara to the
Police to report a case of assault but the officers at the counter backed off
from the case and told us the RDC is a high ranking officer in the district and
only their superiors are better placed to handle the case,” Okot
Aninge revealed that she approached the Regional Police Commander Ezekiel Emitu
who intervened and compelled his subordinates to record the case vide SD
"Can you imagine...
Cue out...everybody refuses."//
was issued with police Form 3, a copy of which our reporter has seen for a
medical examination at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital.
Lapolo denied the accusations, saying on the fateful night he got distress
calls from the DPC and the referral hospital that he needed to intervene
because a critically ill patient was being denied access to the treatment
//Cue in: "30 Minutes...
Cue out...and ask the DPC."//
Maj Lapolo is not new to controversies. In 2007, the then RDC of Pader ordered
for the caning of Lonzio Odora, a Religious Education teacher at Patongo
Primary School in then Agago County after the RDC caught him red-handed administering
corporal punishment to pupils.
He later apologized to the teaching fraternity
in the District for the incident.
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and latr Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.