Alphonse Arinaitwe was living a peaceful life in his hometown of Rukiri sub-county, Ibanda district, never expecting that he would be forced to leave his beloved profession as a teacher.
Arinaitwe, a primary school teacher, became a victim of a violent assault and robbery, leaving him with lifelong injuries. Wilson Ayesiga Kasimari, a charcoal burner, was identified by a witness during the trial at the Ibanda chief magistrate’s court on September 26, 2023. Kasimari faces charges of attempted murder and simple robbery for attacking Arinaitwe on May 16 while attempting to steal his bicycle. If found guilty, he could be sentenced to life in prison.
During the trial, a witness named John Fisher Byamukama, a resident of Rukiri, testified that he found Arinaitwe lying unconscious by the roadside at Kyangwahanda, with his face covered in blood. Byamukama and other residents rushed Arinaitwe to Uganda Martyrs Hospital Ibanda for treatment.
Arinaitwe was later transferred to Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital, where he spent over a month. Unfortunately, the medical staff could not restore sight in his left eye, and he now bears a significant scar on his head.
Arinaitwe’s teaching career has been abruptly cut short. The 51-year-old, who taught at Mpasha Primary School in Rukiri, is currently on sick leave and has applied for early retirement due to his deteriorating health.
“My eye still hurts and may worsen with chalk dust. So, I have to give up teaching and seek other means of livelihood,” Arinaitwe shared with New Vision Online after the court hearing.
He has already spent over four million shillings on medical treatment, and the bills continue to mount due to ongoing eye treatments. Arinaitwe had to sell some of his assets to cover the medical expenses.
Arinaitwe’s future looks bleak. With four of his five children still in need of an education, the Grade III teacher is in a challenging financial situation. As a retiree, he will receive about 220,000 shillings per month, which is half of his current monthly income.
Teaching had been Arinaitwe’s hope to ensure his children’s education without obstacles, but now he is uncertain.
“I am taking each day as it comes… But I am prepared to face life’s challenges,” he said with a sense of resignation.
Currently, Arinaitwe’s main concerns are the treatment for his damaged left eye and the progress of his case as he awaits retirement and a new chapter outside the classroom.
The prosecution witnesses’ testimony will continue on October 24.