Covid-19 rules: Boda boda rider shot dead at security checkpoint

Monday June 14 2021
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Security officers stop a vehicle at the check point near the border of Kabarole and Bunyangabu districts where the boda boda rider was shot from. PHOTO/ ALEX ASHABA

By Alex Ashaba

A boda boda rider has been shot dead by a security operative deployed to enforce President Museveni’s inter-district travel ban announced recently as one of the measures to contain surging cases of Covid-19.

John Kugonza, a resident of Nyasonzi village in Mugusu town council in Kabarole District was shot by a security operative in UPDF uniform at Kibede trading centre, a few meters away from Mugusu town where security have put a checkpoint to enforce the travel ban for Kabarole and Bunyangabu districts.

Mr Samuel Kusemererwa, an LCI chairman for Kibede village who witnessed the incident told this reporter that Kugonza, who was carrying an unidentified woman, was shot by a security officer who was returning to the checkpoint after giving chase to another motorcyclist who had reportedly forced his way through the check point.

“Moments before shooting Kugonza, he (armed officer) was returning to the checkpoint after failing to arrest the other boda boda rider. They (security officers) tried to block him from crossing but failed. The armed security officer had given chase but failed to catch up with him,” Mr Kusemererwa said.

Moments later, Kugonza emerged from Nyasonzi village side to join Fort Portal-Bunyangabu road, only to bump into a security checkpoint being manned by an unarmed traffic officer.

Mr Kusemererwa said Kugonza did not stop even after he was signaled by the unarmed officer.

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“After circumventing the check point, he met the armed officer who shot him on the head,” Mr Kusemererwa added.

His body was taken to Fort Portal regional referral hospital mortuary.

However, Kabarole Resident District Commissioner, Ms Julian Sara who is the head of the district Covid-19 taskforce said Kugonza knocked the officer before he was shot.

“The injured security officer is currently admitted at Muhoti mountain division health facility,” she said.

She urged civilians to respect authority, especially security operatives at the checkpoints.

“When you’re signaled to stop, please do so and explain yourself,” she added.

 The shooting happened hours before the Ministry of Health said 1,122 more Ugandans had tested positive for Covid-19 as confirmed cases rose to 63,099.

The ministry’s report dated June 12 but tweeted June 14 indicates that six more people had succumbed to Covid-19 as the total number of virus deaths rose to 434 since March last year when the virus outbreak was confirmed in the country.

There are currently 920 actives cases on admission at different health facilities across the country, according to government.

A total of 48, 480 people have recovered from the virus since March last year and only 786,160 out of 41 million Ugandans have been vaccinated, according to the health Ministry.

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