Mambewa was inspired to join police as teenager


Mbale– The mourners wailed. His family and relatives, overcome with emotions, stared in disbelief.
Godfrey Mambewa, 35, was in Kampala, a law enforcement officer and driver of Uganda Police Force spokesman and human resources director Andrew Felix Kaweesi.

At his ancestral village in Namusi Central “B”, Namunsi parish, in Mbale’s Nakaloke Town Council, residents, however, knew him as a pious and generous citizen in spite of his limited means.

Mambewa, together with Kaweesi and body guard Kenneth Erau, were gunned down in a city suburb last Friday in the most surreal ambush on security officials in Uganda’s modern history. The attackers fired more than 70 bullets on the car and their victims.

“It’s too bad that he is gone; he was a loving and caring husband,” the widow, Ms Rachael Nakalwelwa, said amid sobs. “Honey, honey is gone. Oh God, you are a liar!”

Her voice petered out for a while and it was replaced with a croaky wailing sound.

A father of three boys, Mambewa was a family man who had time for both the children and spouse in spite of a hectic and unpredictable work schedule that kept him away from family for days.

Relatives and friends of the police driver yesterday gathered to honour the life of a man they remember for being a “humble man”, active church choir member and founder of a local branch of a Pentecostal church. He was buried last evening.

Mambewa was born on May 12, 1982 to a police officer Samuel Wabbala, who retired in 2012, and reportedly picked interest in joining the uniformed forces while a teenager. Both the father and mother, Ms Margret Wabbala, are alive.

He was the eldest of nine children and by historical default a bread winner and heir-apparent.
As such, the news of his brutal killings left the old parents confused and in search of answers as to why him.

“His death has left a big gap in the community, police and family. We are going to miss him,” said Mr Wabbala.

He added that there is need to dedicate more resources to investigate the spate of violent killings in order to bring the perpetrators to book.

He attended Hoima and Naguru police primary schools as well as Namunsi Primary School while roving with the father who was posted to serve in various districts.
Mr Wabbala said his son loved football and singing, including while at Nkoma and Mbale Progressive Secondary schools for his O-Level and A-Level, respectively.

Mambewa had shown an ambition early in life to be either a mechanic or police officer.
That is how he enlisted at Mengo Technical Institute for a Diploma in Mechanics. Upon completion of the course he joined Uganda police Force as a driver on July 23, 2011, serving until his gruesome execution last Friday.

Mr Tomasi Anguria, a teacher at Namunsi Primary School and a close friend of the late, described him as a “humble, God-fearing and developmental young man”.
“He was supportive in the community, churches and family. By the time of his death he had contributed a lot in constructing churches in our area,” said Mr Anguria amid tears.

He added that the late constructed World Pentecostal Church Nakaloke using his little resources.
Mr Anguria, whom many described more or less as a brother to the deceased, said his Mambewa loved singing in the church choir.

A casket containing  the remains of  Godfrey Mambewa

A casket containing the remains of Godfrey Mambewa at his ancestral home in Namunsi, Nakaloke Sub-county in Mbale District. Mambewa was laid to rest yesterday. PHOTO BY FRED WAMBEDE

“These police officers died as heroes. The government must do something [for] their families,” he said.
Mr Anguria explained that Mambewa had a plan of extending electricity to and to buy a public address system for the church he founded.

Ms Sarah Namuhose studied with the late from primary up to Senior Four and described him as a benefactor in spite of his inadequate means.

“From our childhood the late had a giving heart. Whenever you asked him anything he could not refuse to give you,” Ms Namuhose eulogised.

She added that the late got a plan of becoming a police officer in Primary Seven.

“I remember on that day we received a male police officer at school toward our Primary Leaving Examination. And the late told us that he wants to become like that officer in future,” she said. “And indeed he fulfilled his ambitions and became a police officer,” said Ms Namuhose, adding that Mambewa was a pillar in to his family and friends.

According to Ms Namuhose, the late had a plan to open up nursery and primary school in Mbale. Both dreams would now not be fulfilled because the hand of death snatched him from the world in his prime.

Mr Moses Wekesa, another friend, said he got married because of the Mambewa’s advice. “Whenever we met he could advise me to stop loving girls anyhow but to marry. I took his advice and I got married,” said Mr Wekesa.

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