Government to compensate lives, businesses lost in riots

Monday November 30 2020

President Museveni addresses the nation in Mbale District yesterday. PHOTO/COURTESY

By Patience Ahimbisibwe

President Museveni yesterday said government will compensate all those who lost their lives during the recent riots that saw 54 people die.

However, he warned that only those who were not part of the riots will be considered, including those whose businesses were affected in the November 18 and 19 riots that followed the arrest of National Unity Platform presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine. 

“Government will compensate all those who were not rioters but lost their lives in this confusion. If you were rioters, government cannot compensate you. I extend condolences to all Ugandans,” Mr Museveni said in a televised national address from Mbale City. 

He blamed the incidences on presidential candidates who have failed to adhere to the Ministry of Health set guidelines to control the spread of Covid-19. 

While there are 11 presidential candidates, including the President who is seeking a sixth term, he singled out Mr Kyagulanyi as key in violating the standard operating procedures. Mr Kyagulanyi has had running battles with law enforcers and has been arrested and charged in court.

The measures include social distancing of at least two metres apart from each other while in public, use of masks and washing hands as stipulated by the Health ministry and are being championed by the Electoral Commission  in the 2021 election roadmap


“The original mistake were presidential candidate that didn’t adhere to Ministry of Health guidelines and to imagine that they are immune and can violent those safety measures with impunity. The court system should also help the country by strictly implementing the law so that nobody is led into temptation. I am told this time they gave strict conditions to Mr Kyagulanyi on bail. I hope they are serious,” Mr Museveni added.

He ordered for an audit into the stray bullets that allegedly claimed some lives during the riots. According to Mr Museveni, he wrote to the Inspector General of police on how to handle rioters by first firing into the air to scare away people. 

During the address, the President showed pictures and videos largely on coronavirus topic and the riots. As a result, 1,014 suspects were arrested.

“Nobody should ever attack anybody wearing a uniform. Most of the upcountry riot police is not equipped. This lawlessness has been there and police do nothing... You are not going to disturb Uganda whoever you are. You have no right to stone or undress anyone. You have no right to damage property,” Mr Museveni warned.

Although he said there were promising Covid-19 treatment trials, he cautioned people against reckless living and asked them to continue observing the SOPs until the cure is found.