Okambuga-A Grade 8 learner at Kandume Combined School died on Monday evening from a stab wound inflicted by a fellow Grade 9 learner. The incident happened on Monday afternoon just outside the school premises.
The deceased, whom police have identified as Maanda Fredricks, was stabbed once in the chest with a kitchen knife.
A 21-year-old suspect was arrested yesterday and cannot be named until he makes his first court appearance. He, however, told New Era yesterday that he did not mean to kill Fredricks, and apologised for killing him.
The suspect said the two had an altercation on Saturday while playing soccer in the village, when the suspect got into a fight with Fredricks’ teammate. While the two were fighting, Fredricks allegedly intervened by punching the suspect supposedly to defend his teammate.
“I don’t understand why he had to come and join the fight between the two of us. He just punched me while I had nothing to do with him,” said the suspect from the back of the police van soon after his arrest.
The suspect also alleged that he stabbed Fredricks after being threatened.
“I had to strike first because [Fredricks] threatened to stab me. He told me that he has eight knives, and he would take three knives that he would use against me,” alleged the suspect.
“I, however, regret my actions, and it was never my intention to kill him, I was just frustrated, that’s why. I would like to sincerely apologise to his family and ask for forgiveness because I never meant to kill him,” said the teary eyed suspect, who fled the scene to his homestead on the fateful day.
The suspect came with the knife to school on Monday. According to some eye witnesses, the late Fredericks did not have an altercation with the suspect that Monday nor was he carrying a knife. Instead, the suspect approached and poked the deceased from behind and when he turned the suspect stabbed him with no hesitation and without saying anything. He then pulled the knife and headed to his house, eye witnesses said.
According to the school principal Kesia Shindume, there was nothing unusual that day and they never suspected anything of that nature.
“We were, and are still, surprised by what happened, nothing seemed wrong between the two. We only saw a group of learners returning to the school, a few minutes after they were released from afternoon studies, and that’s when I saw the deceased bleeding. I am saddened by this,” stated Shindume.
Shindume described the two as having been friends who would play together and at one point they were neighbours.
“These learners were neither stubborn nor did they have bad behaviour. I just don’t understand why such relationship could end like this,” said a visibly shaken Shindume.