8 Ugandans remanded over Jinja Umeme riot

Friday November 19 2010

By Andrew Gulumaire

Jinja

A court in Jinja has remanded eight suspects over alleged involvement in the Wednesday riots against load-sheddinng in Bugembe Town Council in Jinja District.

The suspects included a 14-year-old primary five pupil who was released on a bail of Shs100,000 (not cash) because he is a minor. The presiding magistrate, Amos Kwizera, asked the boy’s father, who stood surety for him, to produce the suspect in court whenever deemed necessary until the case is completed.

The charges
The nine suspects, who were arrested during the scuffle between police and irate residents protesting the continued power blackout in Bugembe Town Council for the last two weeks, are facing charges of inciting violence, staging an unlawful and violent assembly and insulting the police.

According to an official at the Umeme headquarters in Jinja who preferred anonymity as he is not authorised to talk to the press on behalf of the company, the firm was working round the clock to re-install the transformer and power in the area.

Umeme’s Corporate Communications Manager, Ms Charlotte Kemigyisha, said work on the affected area will be conducted swiftly. “The network in Bugembe was weakened as it had worked for a long time. We removed a transformer while undertaking repairs on it because it would not have withstood the rigorous repair process,” she explained. Ms Kemigyisha said it is a standard procedure remove stransformers when doing special service.

Two more transformers
Ms Kemigyisha also said Umeme will install two new transformers and a new high voltage line. The Jinja District CID chief, Ivan Bruno Kimalyo, confirmed that only one police officer, Rashid Terikya, was injured in the scuffle as the police battled the rioters. Mr Kimalyo said police are conducting underground surveillance to arrest more people who participated in the illegal riot.

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