Hoima. Police in Hoima District have preferred terrorism charges against 16 residents of Runga Landing Site accused of attacking and burning Runga Police Post in Kigorobya Sub-county.
“We have 15 men and one woman. We have preferred against them charges of terrorism, arson and malicious damage of a government institution,” the Albertine regional police spokesperson, Mr Julius Hakiza, said yesterday.
Terrorism is a capital offence in Uganda which attracts a maximum penalty of death upon conviction.
Last Tuesday, irate residents who were armed with spears, bows and arrows attacked the police post following the death of William Okello in police cells under unclear circumstances.
Okello was arrested by police on allegations of stealing a battery from Runga Landing Site.
According to eyewitnesses, the suspect fled from police custody but he was re-arrested by police.
He died shortly after being re-arrested and residents accused police of torturing him to death.
In retaliation, the residents mobilised themselves, attacked the police post and burnt it to ashes, Mr Hakiza told this newspaper.
They also burnt two houses of crime preventers adjacent to the police post.
Armed with AK-47 rifles, the police personnel who were guarding the police post repeatedly shot in the air but the residents kept matching towards them said an eye witnesses.
The yet to be disclosed number of police personnel fled for their lives, leaving the post in the hands of locals who destroyed it.
The Hoima District Police Commander, Mr Peter Mugabi, said more police officers and UPDF personnel deployed to restore sanity in the area.
Last Tuesday, a separate bloody fight erupted between residents of Kigorobya Sub-county and an investor who was opening up boundaries on a contested five square mile piece of land.
Workers of Mr Abdul Malik Mugisa, a Hoima-based businessman, were attacked by machete wielding residents who were protesting his activities on the land that is adjacent to the oil sites in the Albertine graben.