Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | An unidentified minor was one of those who suffered the effects of teargas fired by Anti-riot police while battling people power activists in the city suburb of Kamwokya in Kampala on Thursday afternoon. The minor was with his mother at their home near the National Unity Platform-NUP party headquarters when the protests by the activists started.
The minor’s mother who didn’t disclose her name says they were inside their home when the teargas canister dropped on their doorsteps. “They fired the teargas on the door of our home. It found us inside the house and that is why we have been badly affected,” she told our reporter.
It took the intervention of good samaritans to administer first aid and wash the minor’s face with water to rescue the minor from the effects of the teargas. The activists had taken to the streets to protest police’s failure to apprehend music promoter, Charles Orema alias Sipapa in connection to two incidents of shooting on August 30th and September 15th at the NUP offices in Contafrica zone Kamwokya II parish in Kampala central division.
NUP spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi accuses police of abdicating their responsibility through failure to take action against Sipapa. “He is guarded by police and other fellows who carry guns, he has one himself. The other day he came here and shot at our gate. One of our fellows got injured and the young people are saying we want answers,” he said.
According to Ssenyonyi, they will not sit back and watch someone shooting at people and no action is taken. “We can take charge of our own security. A lousy thug is not going to come here and kill people while we keep watching. We cannot allow that,” Ssenyonyi said.
In his statement issued on Thursday afternoon, the Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson Patrick Onyango says they have arrested 20 suspects in connection to the protest. “The suspects are being charged with staging an illegal procession,” he said.
He revealed that the suspects files are already being processed for submission to the Director of Public Prosecutions for perusal and sanctioning. He also said that they had recovered all the tyres used in the demonstration from the building belonging to Fred Ssentamu Nyanzi, the elder brother of NUP President Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu.
He however said they have received intelligence reports that more tyres are being ferried. “We want to urge NUP supporters that the government has institutions where they can channel their grievances other than taking the law in their hands,” the statement reads.
Charles Twine, the spokesperson of Criminal Investigations Directorate said they have commenced investigations into the allegations levelled against Sipapa by the People power activists. “Investigations commenced and action will be taken on evidence,” he said.