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Gunshot victims accuse police of failure to foot their medical bills

Several citizens sustained gunshot wounds as a result of reckless shooting by police personnel to curb protests. File photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Twenty-one year-old Shaluwa Namukose, a resident of Mafubira ward in Northern division in Jinja city is rotting away without any help after being shot by police while dispersing protests along Mailo Mbili roundabout on February 18th, 2021.

According to Namukose, when she was shot, detectives led by Kiira Region Police Commander Dauda Hiriga visited Namukose at Alshafa medical hospital where they recorded her statement and promised to foot her medical bills.

She however says that one and half months later, police have never fulfilled their promises and they even stopped picking her phone calls. Namukose told URN that her attempts to physically meet senior police officers have proven futile since they lock themselves inside their offices whenever they cite her around different police stations.

“I am currently incapacitated to perform my daily chores within the market yet I accumulated medical bills of about 2.5 million Shillings, but the police officers who promised to support me throughout this trying moment and have since declined to fulfill their part of the bargain,” she says.

Namukose is not the only protest victim struggling with her injuries. In their presser held at Jinja city on Thursday afternoon, the Busoga Regional Coordinators of the National Unity Platform-NUP led by the Jinja City woman MP-elect, Manjeri Kyebakutika, said the families of the bullet wound victims are relying on politicians for survival, which is not sustainable.

Kyebakutika says that police officers are not transparent enough to reveal the progress of investigations, which has left stakeholders suspicious of whether there are plans of delivering justice to gun shooting victims or not.

She further adds that they have laboured to engage authorities at Kiira regional police headquarters with an aim of luring them to fulfill their promises of extending financial aid to bullet wound victims as echoed during their funerals in vain.

Andrew Muwanguzi, another NUP coordinator in charge of the informal sector says that senior police officers have always publicly pledged to compensate relatives of those who lost their lives as a result of shooting by police personnel but their promises are never fulfilled.

The Kiira region police spokesperson, Abbey Ngako says that matters of compensation can only be handled by police headquarters and declined to divulge details. Two people have lost their lives whereas three others have survived with serious injuries following three shooting incidents orchestrated by police personnel in a period of two months.



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