Jinja, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Police have used teargas and live bullets to disperse motorcyclists who had staged protests in Jinja over the skyrocketing fuel prices.
The motorcyclists staged protests within different trading centres along the Jinja-Kamuli highway, where they placed and lit logs and old car tyres in the middle of the roads. The protests were largely held in the trading centers of Mafubira, Namulesa, Wakitaka, Nakabango, Nsuube, Muguluka and Buwenge.
The protestors also attacked their colleagues who had failed to join the protest forcing a number of them to abandon the main road for feeder roads. They also pelted stones at police officers who had been called in to quell the protests.
Fuel prices have skyrocketed in recent months hitting a high of 6,300 Shillings for a litre of petrol and 6,200 for a litre of diesel at pump stations in major towns across the country. This is almost double, the cost of the same fuel product over the last one year.
Alimansi Mugerwa, a motorcyclist operating in the area faults legislators for failing to address the issue affecting their electorate. Another motorcyclist Joseph Mukose says that many of them cannot earn enough to support their families with the current cost of fuel.
“The cost of fuel in Uganda is the highest within the East African Community-EAC, but with this price discrepancy still, our area MPs have neither come out to educate us on this abnormally, neither do they use the parliamentary platform to agitate for us on the same,” he says.
While addressing journalists on the same, the Kiira regional police spokesperson James Mubi said that intelligence reports implicate a section of individuals employing motorcyclists to fuel the protest over unknown gains.
Mubi stresses that footage retrieved from their highway CCTV cameras showcases a numberless saloon car, which was making stopovers at different points along the Jinja-Kamuli highway and issuing whistles, vuvuzelas, and old tyres, among other unidentified items to random motorcyclists with the aim of aiding the protest.