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Police in Mbale fires bullets, teargas to disperse angry rioters

By Paul Watala

Added 24th May 2019 03:57 PM

The rioters who were mainly comprising the youth leadership of Mbale district started the riot from Pallisa road and entered Mbale main garage through Bishop Wasike Road later joining clock tower.

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Police officers arresting some of the rioters in Mbale. Photos by Paul Watala

The rioters who were mainly comprising the youth leadership of Mbale district started the riot from Pallisa road and entered Mbale main garage through Bishop Wasike Road later joining clock tower.

MBALE - Police in Mbale was on Friday forced to use live bullets and teargas to disperse groups of angry rioters who had stormed the streets of Mbale town, to express their disappointment over cabinet refusal to elevate Mbale municipality to city status.

The rioters who were mainly comprising the youth leadership of Mbale district started the riot from Pallisa road and entered Mbale main garage through Bishop Wasike Road later joining clock tower.

The youth who were led by NRM youth chairperson Sarim Namaje and others armed with placards were blowing their whistles and vuvuzelas rounding the clock tower and joined by other concerned residents hence cause a traffic jam.

They also attempted to walk to the office of the RDC located on Regional block but were blocked by anti-riot police.

The Mbale DPC, Fred Ahimbisibwe arrived at the battleground and attempted calm the angry youth in vain and were seen pelting police with stones, which retaliated with teargas.

The angry residents resisted and continued pelting stones at police that left one injured. 

 
Police attempted to arrest some of the leaders of demonstrators but they resisted but of the youth got brave and wrestled down the police as the onlooker on building cheered and appealing for the cabinet to grant Mbale a city status or they will be no rest.

The Officer in charge of Mbale Central Police Station also got involved in a scuffle with a group of journalists that attempted to access the station for comment.

“We do not want anybody here and if you risk crossing here, you will be arrested and detained. We have no comment go and ask the government spokesperson. The PDC is not here and by the way, he is not ready to talk to journalists,” she said.

Mbale Municipality deputy speaker, Yasini Kawanguzi and other youth leaders of NRM were arrested and taken to Mbale CPS to answer charges of inciting the public and holding an unlawful demonstration.

Mbale DPC Ahimbisibwe said the police are not political and their work is to keep law and order and make sure that all citizens are safe.

About the city status, the minister of energy Irene Muloni, Mbale Municipality MP Jack Wamayi, Mbale Municipality mayor Mutwalibu Zandya, Mbale LC5 Chairperson Bernard Mujasi, and other leaders held a brief emergency meeting on Thursday and expressed their disappointment over cabinet refusal to grant Mbale city status.

Muloni said it was very disappointing because Mbale is the business herb of all district in the eastern region.

“As leaders of Mbale from Bugisu and some other colleagues in neighboring districts have been sure that Mbale will be granted city status but it is unfortunate that we were not among the first phase, ” Muloni said.

“I, as minister from Bugisu ad brothers and sisters the Members of parliament from Bugisu have approached the minister for Local government Butime and the speaker of parliament demanding that money should be found to include Mbale in the first phase of municipality to get city status,” she said.

Muloni said that government must find any means to get funds to see that Mbale s included among the first phase of municipalities to get city status with Jinja, adding that Rebecca Kadaga the speaker of parliament had promised to bring back the matters to parliament to see that Mbale is among the first phase.

Mahmud Masaba NRM district chairperson called upon the residents n Mbale an youth to calm down and wait for 2021 to receive their city status.

Jack Wamayi pledged that as Bugisu leaders that are going to do whatever it takes to see that Mbale elevated to city status.

 


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