Boda-boda operators protest police brutality in Bududa

Tuesday June 30 2020

A passenger on a boda-boda motorcycle gestures

A passenger on a boda-boda motorcycle gestures at a policeman as cyclists protested police brutality on June 30, 2020. PHOTO BY YAHUDU KITUNZI  

By YAHUDU KITUNZI & ANDREW NAKHABOYA

Boda-boda cyclists in eastern Uganda district of Bududa Tuesday took to the streets to protest police brutality.
Their protest followed an incident in which one of the colleagues, Mubakari Kuloba, was allegedly beaten by police officers accusing him of carrying two passengers on motorcycle contrary to a presidential directive against the transportation of passengers in a bid to contain the spread of Covid-19.
During a scuffle with police, Kuloba is said to have lost control of his bike before he knocked a tree stamp which left him seriously hurt. He was admitted to Bududa hospital for medical attention.

Mr Vincent Wangolo a boda-boda rider accused police officers of extortion.
"We don’t have anywhere else to get food. We depend mostly on our motorcycle business to earn a living. We are tired of torture and now we want president Museveni to intervene," Mr Wangolo said.
Mr Juma Kuuya, the chairperson Bududa Boda-Boda Association said the actions of police officers in the district signal that they are not interested in saving lives but looking for money from the cyclists through extortion.

"We want a meeting between the cyclists and security operatives in the district because we have failed to cooperate with police officers," Mr Kuuya said.
He said he cannot watch the people he leads being tortured for no reason.
Mr Jafari Magyezi, the Bududa district police commander, said the cyclists have continuously violated the presidential directives against the spread of Coronavirus in the district.
"The one who was beaten was first stopped by police officers on patrol while he was carrying two people on the motorcycle but he tried to run. We are going to visit the scene as investigations are going on to ascertain more facts," Mr Magyezi said.

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