By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Last night September 13, 2020, another boda boda man set himself on fire at Kireka police station compound at 10pm over police compounding his motorcycle accusing him to ride beyond curfew time.
It is alleged that Kakooza attempted to burn himself inside the offices of People People, but police intervened quickly after being alerted by the guards at the offices and managed to avert the suicide.
After his arrest, Kakooza told police that on July 19, 2020, while he was part of a procession of People Power supporters heading to Kayunga District for the burial of the late Charles Mutyabule, he was arrested and his motorcycle impounded. He was later released but the motorcycle remained at Nagalama Police Station.
Kakooza alleged that he tried several times to get back his motorcycle, but a police officer kept on demanding for money, which he didn’t have.
These also followed another incident where a- 29-year-old Boda boda rider on July 2, 2020 set himself on fire at Masaka Central Police in Masaka City after he failed to recover his impounded motorbike.
The victim was identified as Hussein Walugembe.
According to eyewitnesses at the scene, Hussein Walugembe, 29, entered the police office at around 8:000Am and tried to negotiate with traffic officers he found inside to give him back the motorcycle which was reportedly impounded on Tuesday for allegedly flouting curfew guidelines.
“He had come to claim his motorcycle. The OC station referred him to the traffic office to have his motorcycle back but it seems the officers he found there frustrated him and he instead chose to burn himself,” Yasiin Kalyango, a boda- boda cyclist at Shell stage said.
Kalyango said the motorcycle was impounded from Walugembe’s colleague identified as Twaha Kaweesi.
He said police officers in the area usually ask for between Shs100,000 and 150,000 from boda-boda riders whose motorcycles are impounded for flouting directives announced by the president to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Henry Kimbugwe, another boda- boda rider and a friend to the deceased claimed police officers at Masaka CPS demanded for Shs150,000 from Walugembe to release his motorcycle and his pleas to cops to reduce the amount fell on deaf ears, prompting him to burn himself.
“We appeal to the Inspector General of Police, Martin Okoth-Ochola and the security Minister, Gen Elly Tumwine, to investigate the conduct of some police officers in Masaka. Their level of corruption is unimaginable,” he said.
Enoch Abaine, the Southern Region police Commander revealed that Walugembe had been working with police to transport food supplies and was also staying in the police barracks.
“This incident is regrettable. We have already ordered Police Professional Standards Unit to investigate and once we find any of our officers culpable, he or she will face the law,” he said.