Jinja, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | There were running battles between police and street kids in Jinja municipality on Monday afternoon during an operation to demolish makeshift stalls adjacent to Napier market.
Police stormed the area to destroy the stalls following an eviction notice issued by the Jinja Central Division Senior Assistant Town Clerk, Abubaker Kirunda.
The officers managed to destroy some of the stall, which prompted street kids to charge at them with stones and sticks paralyzing business for close to three hours. They also torched some nearby stalls.
The officers used tear gas to disperse the rowdy street kids.
Harrison Basudde, the chairperson of the group, says that they are former street children who reformed from being thieves to small scale entrepreneurs.
He argues that destroying their stalls is equivalent to sending them back to wreak havoc.
Faizal Magemeso says they received a letter from the Central Division Town clerk, Abubaker Kirunda ordering them to vacate the area within five months but were surprised to see police evicting them before the elapse of the grace period.
Kirunda told URN that they decided to evict the illegal settlers because of fueling insecurity. Robert Mugote, a pastor in the area has asked police to beef security in the area, saying angry street children have vowed to torch his church.
Samuel Kabuye, who lost his makeshift stall in the fire, blames police for looking on as street kids torched down their stalls and property.
Vincent Irama, the Jinja Central Police commander, says the area has been harboring criminals who rob from the town center and take refuge in the shacks.
He says they will continue patrolling the area to ensure security sanity and safety of the community members.