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Motorcyclist commits suicide in Masaka traffic office

Hussein Ssenabulya the chairperson of Masaka cyclists speaking to Masaka RPC Enock Abaine. Courtesy photo

Masaka, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Tension is high in Masaka town after a boda boda motorcyclist decided to torch himself to death in the traffic office at Masaka central police station this morning.

Hussein Walugembe, who has been operating at Buddu Shell fuel pump station reportedly doused his body with petrol he had carried in a mineral water bottle concealed in his jacket before he set himself ablaze.

According to preliminary information, Walugembe had gone to the police station to follow up on his motorcycle registration number UEF 145L that was impounded on Monday this week during curfew.

Walugembe’s friend, Agnes Namubiru says the deceased told her that police had asked him for Shillings 100,000 to release his motorcycle but he couldn’t raise the money.

She says that Walugembe committed suicide after going to the police station on Thursday morning to seek help from a traffic officer to help him recover his motorcycle in vain.

The death of Walugembe prompted his colleagues to storm Masaka police station protesting what they called persistent persecution by security authorities.

Hussein Ssenabulya, the chairperson Masaka boda boda rider association says they are saddened by their colleagues’ actions which he blames on police harassment.

Ssenabulya says that they want police to prosecute the police officer that was handling their colleagues’ file because he is fond of extorting money from people.

Enock Ambaine, the Southern Region Police Commander says that he has instructed the Professional Standards Unit to open a general inquiry file to investigate the matter.

He says they are also going to investigate allegations that the officer who was handling Walugembes’ matter had asked for Shillings 100,000 because the receipts that were cleared to be given to cyclists operating during curfew hours is Shillings 40,000.

The deceased’s body has been taken to Masaka Regional Referral hospital mortuary for postmortem.

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