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Gov’t to compensate city protest victims

President Museveni addresses the nation on Sunday from Mbale. PHOTO PPU

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Yoweri Museveni has said that the government will compensate families of those killed during the recent city protests.

Museveni made the remarks during his televised national address on issues of security and covid-19 situation on Sunday evening.

President Museveni says that he has already received a detailed report on each of the 54 people that lost their lives in the protests.

“Unfortunately, 54 people died in this confusion, 32 of them were rioters according to the report I got. Some were hit by stray bullets, some were knocked,” the President said.

The protests were sparked off by the arrest of National Unity Platform-NUP presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi in Luuka district.

However, Museveni said that no money will be given to the families of the 34 people who participated in the protests.

“I send condolences to Ugandans that lost their relatives in these senseless riots. The government will compensate those who lost their lives and properties, but we shall not compensate those who died and were rioters. No way,” he said.

Museveni however acknowledges that there were unnecessary deaths caused mainly by stray bullets thereafter directing the relevant authorities to conduct an audit into the matter.

The president further points out that instead of firing bullets which could later go astray to kill innocent people, the security forces had to follow the standard procedures.

On this point, Museveni referred the letter he recently wrote to the Inspector General of Police where he had asked him to ensure that officers don’t just shoot bullets but rather take every necessary step.

While reviewing several video clips on live television, Museveni noted that the area where the videos were shot should be located and the officer implicated be held accountable.

Besides, the officers who shot ‘stray bullets’ in the buildings, there are several others who were recorded beating non-violent people in several areas including those who were running out of the building to save their dear lives.

Museveni also castigated leaders for blaming security officers for their actions during the riots.

He warned that, “If Kyagulanyi was arrested, his supporters should have waited for him to go to court like he eventually did. The feeling that Kyagulanyi is untouchable because he is a politician and prompts people to riot must never be repeated.”

In the aftermath of the protests, more than 1,000 people were arrested of whom 843 have been charged before courts of law, 699 have been remanded while 93 released on court bail. 113 suspects have received police bonds, 13 are held in police cells up to now and only 21 have been cleared and subsequently released.

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