Two people are nursing injuries at Mbale Regional Hospital after being by a teargas canister during a demonstration in Mbale town. They are Annet Namataka, a proprietor of a restaurant in Busamaga market and her workmate, Gift Kurusum.
Namataka was hit by a teargas canister on the arm while Kurusum got injuries on the hand and face. The teargas canister tore an iron sheet on the victim's restaurant before it landed inside injuring them.
Police fired the teargas while dispersing residents protesting the poor state of Mbale-Busamaga road in Wanale division. Hundreds of residents, boda boda riders and mechanics blocked the road on Friday to protest its poor state prompting police to swing into action to disperse them.
Police fired teargas in a big crowd of residents who had gathered to express dissatisfaction with the poor state of the road, which connects to Mbale town. Mbale-Busamaga road starts at Mbale High Court and connects to Busamaga. The same road connects Wanale, Budwale, Bubwegu, Bukonde and Bufumbo sub counties.
Muhammed Ssamuka, the area local council one Chairperson condemns police for using excessive force against peaceful residents. Shafic Wadada, a retail trader in Busamaga market, says they decided to protest because authorities have ignored their repeated pleas to work on the road.
//Cue in: " Now for us…
Cue out: …Demonstration,”//
//Cue In: Fefe…
Cue Out:….two weeks,”//
Gladys Namakonye, another trader accuses police of lobbying teargas canisters inside their shops yet some of them were not part of the protest.
//Cue in: "We are unfortunate …
Cue out:…... to us ."//
Issa Kisolo, another trader also says this isn't the first time police are firing teargas in the community.
//Cue in: "This is no …
Stephen Njuba, a resident of Busamaga says there is need for police to find other ways to sensitize residents instead of resorting to violence.
//Cue in: " Come to see …
Cue out:……… very bad ."//
URN also saw police arresting five people suspected to have been part of the protest.
Francis Chemusto, the Elgon Region Police Commander declined to comment on the matter and referred reporter to Suwed Manshur, the Elgon Region Police Spokesperson. Manshur also declined to comment, saying he wasn't aware about the demonstration.
George Ssonko, the UNRA Mbale Station Engineer couldn't be reach on his mobile for a comment on the sorry state of the road.