A woman has sued Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) seeking compensation for the death of her husband, who she says was killed by a roaming hippopotamus, which strayed from a national park.
Ms Jane Nyinabarima, 65, in her suit presented before the High Court on October 23, contends that her husband Charles Sebihigi, who was a catechist at Rwenyonyozi Church of Uganda, was the sole bread winner for nine family members and his demise has made them hopeless. They now want compensation from UWA.
Ms Nyinabarima says on March 22, 2018, her husband was working in his garden when he was attacked by the hippo. She says later, the local authorities reported the incident to Lake Mburo Conservation Management, which sent two game rangers who shot the hippo dead.
“Unfortunately, by the time the two rangers reached the scene, the hippopotamus had already attacked/ injured its victims, the late Sebihigi and the late Vincent Barija, who died that very day from its injuries,” Ms Nyinabarima states in her suit.
Sebihigi was rushed to Itojo hospital in an ambulance by his family before he was shifted to Mbarara Regional Hospital where he was admitted for three months. However, the family could not afford cumulative medical bills for specialised treatment. The suit states that the family sought financial assistance from Lake Mburo Conservation Area, which promised support but later reneged on the pledge.
“On June 8, 2018, because of the huge medical bills which we could not sustain, the deceased was discharged by the hospital despite the fact that he had not yet healed and we had to engage the services of a nurse which were cheaper. She would come once in a while at home to monitor his condition,” Ms Nyinabarima says.
However, Ms Nyinabarima says her husband’s condition worsened three days after his discharge and was taken back to Itojo hospital where he died on October 3, 2018. Through family lawyers of Nuwagira and Tusiime Advocates, Ms Nyinabarima wants court to order UWA to pay her family about Shs34 million as special damages.