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WALK TO WORK CAMPAIGN: Was Besigye hit by a rubber bullet, and who fired it?

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A woman who is suspected to have been shot when police opened fire in Kajjansi along Entebbe road lies prostrate on the ground.

A woman who is suspected to have been shot when police opened fire in Kajjansi along Entebbe road lies prostrate on the ground. Photo Ismail Kezaala. 

By Tabu Butagira

Posted  Thursday, April 14  2011 at  01:01
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Police and military are giving conflicting accounts of what happened to opposition leader, Kizza Besigye, in the Thursday ‘Walk-to-Work’ fracas at Kasangati in Wakiso District.

Whereas Army Spokesman, Lt. Col. Felix Kulayigye, says Dr Besigye was “not hurt at all”, Police publicist Judith Nabakooba says “something else, not a bullet” glazed his finger.

Our Reporter, John Njoroge, who is now at Kampala Hospital in Kololo, says doctors at the medical facility conclude after an X-ray examination that a rubber bullet shattered the third digit of Dr Besigye’s right arm.

“He has walked out of the hospital room and is smiling,” Mr Njoroge says. Three truckloads of regular and military police have besieged the Hospital from Athina Club junction. Their intention is not clear.

Military Police Spokesman, Lt. Dennis Omara, says their men were called by regular police after rowdy protesters began barricading roads and lighting bonfires.

“It is the regular police that are in the lead, we have just come in as a back-up because of the security situation. We are now opening the roads so people can freely go to the city centre,” he says.

Accounts offered by the army indicate the situation spiraled out of control after a civilian began strangling a policeman he wanted to disarm, and a bullet went out, injuring the civilian who was taken for treatment at Mulago Hospital.

“Nothing happened to Besigye at all; that he was shot is a lie,” says Lt. Col. Kulayigye.

Meanwhile, Ms Judith Nabakooba says Kampala Metropolitan CID chief John Kato has been booked into an unnamed health facility after demonstrators clobbered him.

The Thursday commotion and subsequent shooting has forced the American Mission in Kampala to cancel a scheduled Journalists’’ round table with Ambassador Jerry Lanier, according to Public Affairs Officer, Joann Lockard.