The National Police Service (NPS) has denied media reports on alleged retrieval of seven bodies from the infamous River Yala.
In a statement on Wenesday, September 21, Police Spokesperso Bruno Shioso clarified that not all the seven bodies lying at the Yala Sub-county Hospital mortury were retrieved from River Yala as reported in a section of the media.
While terming the reports as inaccurate and grossly misleading, Shioso said only two bodies lying at the morgue were retrieved from the river.
The other five people, the police boss noted, died under different circumstances.
"Whereas it is true that seven (7) dead bodies are at the local Yala sub- county mortuary, not all are associated to a "retrieval" from the Yala River as alleged," he said.
"Each body has a specific and different history and circumstances."
One of the people whose body is preserved at the morgue is said to have collapsed and died at Wagai market. He remains unidentified. The other body is linked to a mob injustice at Malanga area and the third person is suspected to have drowned and brought to the mortuary by offices from neighbouring Khwisero police station.
Another person is said to have been involved in a hit-and-run road accident, while the fifth is a case of suspected suicide where the deceased reportedly drowned himself leaving a suicide note behind. The incident was witnessed by members of the public, the police said.
Shioso affirmed that investigations into the incidents are ongoing.
"In all these cases, local and neighbouring police are fully seized, are coordinating and investigating with a view of establishing identity of deceased persons including probable causes of their respective deaths. Inquest files have been opened per the law," Shioso stated.
Yala Sub-county hospital morgue overstretched
The statement comes amid reports that Yala Sub-county Hospital mortuary is overstretched with unclaimed bodies.
Medical Superintendent Dr. Bruno Okal on Monday urged members of the public to come forward and help in the identification of the bodies.
“So far we have six male and one female bodies lying at Yala morgue. We would like the public to identify and pick them for burial to ease the congestion,” Okal said.
Early this year, the Yala River hit headlines after 32 bodies were retrieved from the river.
Some of the bodies preserved at the Yala Sub-county Hospital mortuary had ropes around their necks and the fingers were severed or burnt in what authorities believe was meant to erase their identities.
An investigation had revealed that almost all of the men had a criminal past and were the victims of a brutal death squad with the resources to kill, transport and dump bodies continuously in one area as local police looked away.
The police have, however, denied accusations by human rights groups of being behind the killings.
They had urged the public to give investigators time to find the killers.