The Muslim cleric in Mbale district who was found dead a day after he went missing could have been mentally ill, the Uganda Police has said.
The body of Sheikh Issa Wampongo, a duat teacher at Yusra Primary School in Nakaloke, and a businessman in Mbale district, was this morning found lying in a stream in Kachumbala in Bukedea district at a place called Kireka, Mailo Mukaga.
The 32-year-old Wampongo was also a teacher at Nakaloke SS and owned a bakery in Nakaloke.
Earlier reports indicated that Wampongo, also a Masters student at Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU), was allegedly picked up by unidentified people from his home in Nakaloke town council on Monday night. Police, however, says preliminary information indicates that he was mentally ill an incidence that could have led to his death.
Emilian Kayima, the Police Spokesperson says the postmortem reports conducted today indicate that the victim died of drowning. He says the police retrieved the mobile phone and shoes at the stream but not in the water an indication that they were placed there.
Kayima says the deceased left home at 3am on Monday and did not return. He says the family reported him as a missing person and he was found in a place called Bugema in Mbale when police mounted a search.
Kayima says Sheikh Issa Wampongo was returned home and that at 5am today he left to go for prayers and was only discovered dead at 6am.
Police says circumstances surrounding his death are still being investigated, but preliminary results indicate that the deceased could have heard a mental challenge looking at his history of disappearing from home.
Francis Chemusto, the Elgon Regional Police Commander, says the deceased drowned in Lwere swamp. He said the deceased removed his shoes and mobile phone before he drowned.
According to the postmortem report seen by our reporter this afternoon, there was massive water in the lungs and stomach of the deceased.
Issa Nabende, a farmer who first saw the body of the deceased at 6 am lying in Lwere swamp, says he first saw shoes and a mobile phone. Nabende narrates that he went round his garden thinking that somebody could have put items there temporarily.
“After searching around then I saw a cloth in water when I checked it I saw the body then I called the area local council one chairperson,” he added.
Shaban Abdu Musilimu, a brother of the deceased told this publication that on Monday Wampongo has been having wrangles with his mother over their late father’s properties and land.
His father, Sheikh Abu Musilimu Wampongo, died in December 2016.