TOP
Wednesday,November 25,2020 13:34 PM

Police killings trigger city riot

By Vision Reporter

Added 2nd July 2008 03:00 AM

A 12-year-old school boy and a Special Police Constable (SPC) were yesterday killed by stray bullets fired by the Police during a riot at Kalerwe, a Kampala suburb. Three others sustained gunshot wounds in the riot, which was triggered off by a botched security operation.

A 12-year-old school boy and a Special Police Constable (SPC) were yesterday killed by stray bullets fired by the Police during a riot at Kalerwe, a Kampala suburb. Three others sustained gunshot wounds in the riot, which was triggered off by a botched security operation.

By Chris Kiwawulo and Francis Kagolo
A 12-year-old school boy and a Special Police Constable (SPC) were yesterday killed by stray bullets fired by the Police during a riot at Kalerwe, a Kampala suburb. Three others sustained gunshot wounds in the riot, which was triggered off by a botched security operation.

Enraged by the boy’s death, an irate mob later smashed and set ablaze a Police patrol vehicle in front of Crane Oil fuel station.

The Kibe Zone chairman, Saidi Bbale, identified the dead as Willy Kyambadde, a pupil at Childcare Primary School in Kawempe Division, and Tom Ssekiranda, an SPC attached to Wandegeya Police station.

The injured could not be identified by press time. The chaos started when a group of SPCs on foot patrol attempted to arrest a suspected criminal at the washing bay yesterday afternoon.

The suspect, together with his colleagues, was found playing cards and smoking marijuana. He resisted arrest and a scuffle ensued in which the Police fired in the air, a witness said.

“It was during that scuffle that the boy was shot in the head,” a bodaboda cyclist, who was present, said. The boy had been washing a bicycle at the bay, reportedly in a bid to raise money for his school fees.

Furious over the boy’s death, a mob attempted to lynch the SPCs. In the ensuing chaos, Ssekiranda, dressed in plain clothes, was shot in the chest as he was moving towards some anti-riot Police officers.

“They thought he was a rioter trying to advance towards them,” Bbale, who was at the scene, explained. Ssekiranda was a resident of the area, he added.

The Police called in reinforcements and the military stepped in to quell the riot. Ssekiranda’s body was taken to the Mulago Hospital mortuary by the Police.

But earlier residents had blocked the Police from taking the boy’s body. Angry residents with stones sealed off the scene. “You are not taking his body anywhere,” they shouted.

The soldiers later swung into action and forcefully snatched the body amid a rain of bullets fired in the air. On realising that the soldiers had gotten hold of the boy’s body, the mob pelted them with stones.

The crowd later turned to a Police car that was parked at the nearby filling station, rolled it out, smashed it and set it ablaze. Two suspects were arrested, including a man whom the Police officers said was among those who torched the Police vehicle.

Kampala Extra Police chief Edward Ochom, who tried to calm down the crowd, regretted the incident and said they had arrested three policemen responsible for the shooting. “It is unfortunate and regrettable that some undisciplined officers on duty did not handle the situation the way they should have done,” he said.

The Police chief said investigations were still going on to establish what exactly happened. “If it was a case of drug abuse, these people should have been simply arrested and charged because the offence was minor,” he said.

“But sometimes members of the public tend to react by pelting the Police with stones. This incident would not have warranted killing somebody.”

By press time, the situation had normalised although the Military Police officers were still deployed in the area. During the riot, which lasted for over two hours, traffic on Gayaza Road was blocked between Kubbiri and Kyebando, forcing motorists to use alternative routes.

Police killings trigger city riot

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author