Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola has instructed the Director of Traffic Police to increase deployments on roads during rush hours to eliminate emerging crimes of mob justice.
The directive follows a weekend incident where a 40-year-old former driver with the United Nations-UN was lynched by a group of violent boda boda riders in Mengo-Katale, after knocking one of their colleagues on Sunday.
According to police detectives from Old Kampala police division, Aziz Bashir, a resident of Mengo was involved in a minor accident in which his Toyota Allex vehicle was scratched by a boda boda rider.
The driver got out to negotiate with the boda boda rider to see how the car could be repaired. Whereas Aziz wanted 500,000 shillings, the boda boda rider said he could only afford shs50 000. Consequently, the two failed to agree and this angered the driver.
“He got out of the vehicle but failed to agree with the motorcycle rider. It is from there that two motorcycles shielded the rider who was involved in a traffic accident with Bashir. The rider left the scene but as the deceased pursued the rider, he knocked another motorcyclist,” Luke Owoyesigyire, the Kampala Metropolitan Deputy Police Spokesperson said.
A gang of boda boda riders surrounded the vehicle as Aziz approached Lyna Primary School, pulled him out and beat him to death in the resultant scuffle. Police say two suspects were arrested and detained at Old Kampala police station.
Addressing journalists at Naguru police headquarters, police spokesperson Fred Enanga said that there is an ongoing review of CCTV camera footage to identify all people who involved in the act including the initial rider who brushed the car and took off, those who shielded him, and whoever participated in lynching the deceased.
“The conduct of boda-boda riders really shows a complete lack of regard for lives of other people on the road, and it has turned into a habit where if a boda-boda rider is knocked, scratched or causes an accident, you find other boda-boda members ganging-up against drivers with insults and attempt to gang up against them without minding about reporting the matter to police,” Enanga said.
Enanga explains that the IGP has directed the director Traffic, Lawrence Niwabiine to embark on heavy deployment to all known busy roads and use aggressive traffic enforcement measures to bring indisciplined motorists to book.
He further noted that traffic police are also going to embark on sensitization and awareness programs on anger management on roads.
“There is too much anger on our roads, whenever there is an accident, you find insults and fights, so we’re going to try to sensitize the public to avoid escalating situations,” Enanga added.