HOUSTON – Dozens of church members gathered to honor a Ugandan priest, his wife and their 5-year-old son who were found dead in their Memorial City apartment.
The deaths are being investigated as a triple murder.
“Sweet sweet people, my goodness,” said Ginger Fabian, a church member.
It was around 9:20 a.m. when a maintenance worker found a man, woman and small child dead inside an apartment located behind Memorial City Mall, Houston Police said. The discovery was made in the 870 block of Strey Lane.
The priest’s church issued a press release identifying the victims as Israel Ahimbisibwe and his wife Dorcus. The priest was a native of Uganda and served as vicar of Redeemer Episcopal Church, according to members of the church.
“They came up from Uganda, you can see the difference in culture but, were just really good people” said John Roberts, a church member.
Detectives did not say how long the bodies had been inside the apartment but did say there were no signs of forced entry.
Church leaders said they became concerned when the family didn’t show up for church on Sunday.
“Which is totally out of character for him not to let us know,” said Keeber Wallace, a church member and neighbor. “He didn’t respond to text messages or phone calls.”
Wallace said he stopped by the apartment and knocked on the door, but didn’t get a response. “We talked with their neighbors and they had not seen them since Friday,” he said. Wallace described the couple as well loved.
“Both of them are wonderful Bible teachers and people of great faith,” he said. “He’s a very gentle man. Well respected among the clergy and, you know, he was our pastor. We loved him enjoyed him serving with us.”
“They were an incredible example and loved everyone.people’s lives were truly changed by his ministry,” said Rt. Reverand Andrew Doyle.
According to a press release, Ahimbisibwe was ordained in the Church of Uganda and held master’s degrees from both Princeton Theological Seminary and Harvard Divinity School. After completing graduate research at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, he attended Rice University where he earned an additional master’s degree in religious studies in 2009 and a doctorate in 2011.
“This is a horrific and awful tragedy,” said Bishop C. Andrew Doyle, Bishop of Texas, “We are in touch with the police and Israel’s family here in Houston. Please keep the Ahimbisibwe and Redeemer families in your prayers,” he said.
Police say the couple has two older sons. One son is in California at a private school. The other just graduated from Memorial High last year. He is supposed to join the Marines on Friday. Investigators have yet to talk to him before he leaves. Police are not releasing any other information at this time.
The African Union First Ladies made a call for action on 31 January 2015 for continent-wide efforts, leadership and political commitment to kick polio out of Africa. The First Ladies agreed to advocate for a polio-free Africa as a top priority for their governments in 2015 at an event jointly organized by the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (WHO, Rotary, CDC and UNICEF) at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa.
The First Ladies pledged their personal and country commitment to deliver a polio-free Africa through heightened advocacy and personal participation in supplementary immunization and accelerated routine immunization activities, such as the African Vaccination Week. Calls for action were heard from the First Ladies of Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda. ?If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together ? thank you OAFLA for going the distance with us to end polio," Dr Rebecca Martin, Director of CDC?s Global Immunization Division and the Moderator of the event, said acknowledging the important role of the First Ladies in leading advocacy efforts.
The WHO is in the process of formalizing a partnership with the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA). A memorandum of understanding and a joint action plan are being prepared. ?The draft agreement between OAFLA and WHO provides an opportunity for intensified engagement to protect all African children from polio and other disease" said Dr Pierre M'Pele-Kilebou, WHO Representative to Ethiopia at the meeting on 31 January 2015. Some of the areas for collaboration between WHO and OAFLA will be around continental and country level advocacy to mobilize resources to support HIV/AIDS and maternal and child health activities.
The OAFLA polio eradication pledge coincided with the 24th Ordinary Session of the OAFLA General Assembly and the 24th Summit of the African Union. The WHO Regional Director for Africa was represented by Dr Tigest Ketsela, Director of the Health Promotion Cluster at the 24th General Assembly of the OAFLA and by Dr Pierre M'Pele-Kilebou, WHO Representative to Ethiopia, assisted by the WHO Liaison Officer to the AU and ECA, at the AU Summit.
Mogadishu - A former top commander from Somalia's Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab rebels, Zakariya Ismail Ahmed Hersi, called on his former comrades Tuesday to follow his lead and surrender to the country's internationally-backed government.
"I call on and encourage all my friends to seek out a peaceful way of resolving all conflicts and towards reconciliation, as ... Al-Shebab is now in total collapse," Hersi said in his first public appearance since his surrender last month.
Hersi, who was the subject of a $3 million bounty under the US State Department's "Rewards for Justice" programme, spoke to reporters from the information ministry in Mogadishu, where he appeared without guards.
It is not clear if Hersi -- described as a former Shebab intelligence chief -- will face trial, but Somalia's government said in a statement that it had offered surrendering militants the "opportunity to reintegrate with Somali society, and guarantees their safety".
It added that it hoped Hersi's surrender would "inspire others to follow his example and join the peace process."
The Shebab are fighting to overthrow Somalia's internationally-backed government, but have also carried out a string of revenge attacks in neighbouring nations.
Hersi surrendered in late December in the southern Gedo region, where Somalia borders Kenya and Ethiopia.
He was reportedly once close to former Shehab chief Ahmed Abdi Godane, who was killed by a US air strike in September. But Hersi suggested he was among a group of commanders who had already fallen out with Godane prior to his death -- some of whom were killed in a purge.
"There were a number of us who opposed the leadership's approach and its flawed doctrine," Hersi said.
He said current Shebab leadership, under Godane's successor Ahmad Umar Abu Ubaidah, is carrying out a "distorted form of the holy jihad, which has resulted in countless innocent Somali citizens being killed."
Hersi also said his appearance on Tuesday in public was to put to rest those who said he had been tortured in government custody, or had been handed over to "foreign countries."
Supporters and police clashed before host nation Equatorial Guinea's second game at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Fans threw stones and bottles outside the stadium in Bata, with police responding by firing smoke grenades.
The violence, involving hundreds of fans, occurred as supporters were trying to enter the ground through a single entrance before the match against Burkina Faso began.
Some supporters reportedly did not have tickets for the game, which ended 0-0.
Fans have faced delays getting into other venues being used in the tournament, with two group matches played back-to-back at a single stadium each night.
Riot police and fans also scuffled before the first games in the city of Ebebiyin on Sunday.
Equatorial Guinea are hosting the tournament after Morocco's request to postpone the event because of the possible spread of Ebola was rejected by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) in November.
Supporters have their temperatures checked and are then asked to clean their hands with sanitising gel as they enter stadiums, which is also resulting in long queues.
As we begin this NEW YEAR with celebrations and praises, let’s remember, deeply with our hearts, that we are witnesses to the accomplishments of those who fought and died from the deadly Ebola virus, and those who are still fighting against that virus; those who unite and joined others to either donate or organize a program or done some things to help the victim's of Ebola, may God/Allah' blessing and mercy lead you to endless victory, from and over everything and anyone that are evil.
Salute to those ordinary heroes of Africa who are, and were, on their feet and knees helping people and praying for better Africa, better World and for themselves --achievements and success, shall come; salute to some of Africa' late legends: Mandela and Chinua Achebe.
Also, salute to the innocent African children, women, and men who are suffering from great depression, abuse, hunger, and illnesses from our greedy African leaders, and those that lost their lives in the fight for peace and ones loved, we are with them in spirit.
The unknown and ordinary heroes, men, women and children, and elders that went on to perform such an extraordinary and difficult task and challenge to help curb with the deadly Ebola viruses, and without no help from some African governments, we want to salute you and others brave souls.
Therefore, Africans let’s rise with dignity, applaud with happiness and jubilate with praise, dance our ancestor's victorious dance, and call on the one and only GOD/ALLAH of this universe to UNITE Africa, “which is in peace with itself”. Furthermore, sing with Bob Marley “How good and how pleasant it would be before God and man, yeah to see the unification of all Africans.”
RESOLUTION QUOTE 2015: “We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” Nelson Mandela.
Bob Marley once said, “Love would never leave us alone.”