Police start probe into Bobi Wine protest killings

Tuesday December 01 2020
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This photo taken on November 19, 2020 shows Uganda Red Cross rescue team helping one of the people who were injured in the riots which swept Kampala and other parts of Kampala following the arrest of Presidential aspirant Robert Kyagulanyi. PHOTO/ UGANDA RED CROSS

By Benson Tumusiime

Police said they have commenced investigations into the killing of 54 people during the recent protests to establish culpability and prosecute the perpetrators. 
The police categorised the dead into two; those who were directly involved in the demonstrations and were killed in confrontation with police, and those who were innocently killed by stray bullets from reckless security operatives.
At least 54 were killed, mainly by security forces, after police arrested Opposition presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, in Luuka District on November 18 which sparked spontaneous protests in the capital Kampala and other towns around the country. 

Security forces battled protesters for two days, leaving 54 people dead and about 800 arrested.   
According to police, the protesters burnt tyres, stoned security personnel and civilians, burnt government vehicles, destroyed government installations such as surveillance cameras, police stations, courts, attacked police officers on duty, and blocked roads. Police said some protesters stripped women who were wearing yellow clothes, the ruling party’s colour.

“Out of 54 people that were killed by police and other security agencies, 32 were in direct confrontation with the security agencies, 20 were killed by stray bullets, two were victims of an accident when a car lost control on Ben Kiwanuka Street and knocked them,” police spokesman Fred Enanga said yesterday.
Police revealed that they have tasked the investigating team to collect and analyse several cartridges spent and unspent during the protests and scrutinise the videos obtained from their CCTV cameras to determine which gun was fired recklessly and who fired it. 

“The purpose of this is to know why the officers were shooting and if found that the shooting was not relevant, then the officers shall be charged.  Currently, we are scrutinising the Nsangi CCTV video, the video of the officer wearing a suit in Mukono who was shooting in the air and we are also having cases of military cars that were caught in the riot while shooting,” Mr Enanga said.

He further said police are working with the Prime Minister’s Office and office of the Minister for Kampala to compile the list of victims killed by stray bullets such that their families can be compensated by government.