3 killed in Gulu as protests continue

Mao (C) is dragged by Gulu District Police Commander Moses Muluya (R) and OC CID Moses Bwebagye to the police station on Thursday. PHOTO BY SAM LAWINO

At least three people were on Thursday shot dead in Gulu after a walk-to-work campaign in the town turned violent on. Among those killed were, Adoni Mugisu, a tomato seller in Gulu market, Charles Otul, a mechanic in the town and an unidentified person who was reportedly lynched by the protestors for wearing a T-shirt bearing a photograph of President Museveni

Democratic party president Norbert Mao who, on Thursday evening saw his protest in Gulu town turn bloody following a late night military intervention, has told Saturday Monitor that he will organise a civil disobedience on Monday in form of prayers and fasting.

“I have just been meeting Gulu market women to plan for Monday’s event,” Mr Mao said by telephone from his home town. “The manner in which they grabbed me and bundled me onto a police truck was humiliating and that’s why my people rioted. The military killed three of our people and they are even stopped relatives from taking the bodies. I saw a soldier cocking a gun at us.”

Gulu town was by yesterday morning under a curfew with fuel stations not allowed to serve any vehicles.
But, by 11am the army had started allowing few vehicles to get fuel, especially those destined for long journeys.

All radio stations in Gulu were barred from giving live updates of the demonstration. Military officers from the 4th Division headquarters using live bullets and amoured vehicles poured onto the streets of Gulu and began shooting randomly to disperse residents who were protesting the arrest of Mao.

Gulu District Police Commander Moses Muluya said police sought for Military assistance after protests in Gulu turned bloody. Mr Muluya said the crowd had swelled beyond the capacity of the police. Mr Muluya apologised for the death of innocent citizens but said the army’s role was crucial because the demonstrators had gone beyond the police capacity.

In Kampala, the opposition are vowing to go ahead with their second week of protest. Addressing journalists in Kampala yesterday, Masaka Municipality MP-elect Mathias Mpuuga, who is also the coordinator of Action-for-Change, a pressure group, said they will continue with their walk-to-work protest on Monday until the government comes up with acceptable responses to the current high inflation rate.