Saturday, September 12, 2009



By Vision Reporters
New Vision, Kampala

SIX MORE people were killed yesterday in the riots that hit various parts of Buganda for a second day, bringing the death toll to at least eleven.

The New Vision saw three bodies being brought into the city mortuary early on Friday morning and another three later in the day.
Kampala riots claim eleven lives

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Two of them were burned to death by a mob in Ndeeba, a Kampala suburb. Among the dead was also a Senior Three student from Lubiri Secondary School.

In addition, two people died of gunshot wounds on Thursday night in Kawempe. One of them was identified as Yawe Wesige Mukama.

Another 18 people were yesterday injured in the mayhem that continued to engulf Kampala, Wakiso, Masaka, Mityana and Mukono, bringing the total number of wounded to about 60.
Ten of them had been hit by stray bullets in battles between the Police and civilians while the others were hit by stones thrown by rioters.

According to eyewitness accounts, people were dragged out of cars at road blocks in several parts of the city for looking like Banyankole, and beaten up.

“You are not a Muganda,” a female passenger was told by youth manning a road block in Namirembe on Thursday night. She was saved from the irate mob by a patrol Police.

The Kabaka's visit which was scheduled today was called off pending talks with the central Government according to Mengo.

The Mengo deputy minister for information, Medard Lubega Segoona, said a new date for the visit would be announced.

The Police spokesperson, Judith Nabakooba, said 64 people were arrested in the two days of violence.

The most affected suburbs in Friday’s riots were Natete, Nansana, Ndeeba, Kalerwe, Kansanga, Bakuli, Nakulabye, Katwe, Kasubi, Bwaise and Najjanankumbi.

There was gunfire in some parts of Kampala as early as 7:00am. The army deployed heavily in Natete, where rioters a day earlier had set ablaze the Police station and 25 vehicles parked there. Soldiers banned residents from walking in groups.

Violent scenes played out in Nansana, a city suburb, as rioters at dawn barricaded the roads with logs and lit bonfires, blocking all traffic.

This prompted the Police and the army to swing into action. Armed with automatic rifles and aboard armoured vehicles, they dispersed the youth, only for them to return again later and set up a new road block.

Violence in Kansanga flared up just before midday, cutting off access to Bunga, Gaba and Munyonyo suburbs.

The rioters set up a roadblock and started looting surrounding shops, prompting a quick intervention from the security forces. One person was reportedly killed in the clashes that followed.

Rioters also cut off Entebbe Road. Foreign tourists reported that their bus was stopped at the entrance of the city, all passengers were forced out and only the whites were allowed to cross on foot.

At some road blocks, motorists were forced to pay their way through. Drivers at road blocks in Mpererwe and Taso-Kitara on Thursday night had to part with sh2,000 to be allowed to pass, witnesses said.

The city remained tense most of the day amid heavy deployment of the Police, the Military Police and the Presidential Guard Brigade.
Many city dwellers stayed at home as some offices, factories and most shops remained closed.
The Government had earlier instructed all public servants in the riot-prone areas to “immediately park all government vehicles at the nearest safe places.”

Public transport in and around the city was paralysed the whole of yesterday. Only privately owned vehicles and motorcycles could be seen on Kampala’s streets.
The old and new taxi parks, as well as Kisekka Market, remained ‘no-go areas’ yesterday. Military Police cut off all routes leading to these places.

Outside Kampala too, the situation remained tense. In Mityana, Mengo supporters lit five campfires in the streets and cut off the Mubende-Kampala highway. The Police quickly dispersed the protesters and tightened security.

In Kayunga, the venue of the planned youth celebrations, no public transport vehicles could be seen on the road.

The town was tightly guarded by Police and about 80 motorcycles, confiscated during an attempted riot on Thursday evening, were still in Police custody.

Most places became calm in the afternoon but by 8:00pm, rioting had resumed in Seeta and Kireka, 15kms and 8kms respectively, on the Kampala-Jinja highway.
Telephone services to northern Uganda were cut off most of Friday because MTN engineers could not reach the MTN mast that had broken down at Nakitoma in Nakasongola district.
Several diplomatic missions issued safety alerts to their staff and nationals, asking them to avoid unnecessary movements during the weekend.

Meanwhile, the Uganda Red Cross has appealed to the public not to attack their vehicles during rescue operations. “We have no sides in the riots. We just want to save all injured people’s lives,” said the Red Cross’ spokesperson Catherine Ntabade.

Reporting by; Conan Businge, Steven Candia, Patrick Jaramogi, Chris Kiwawulo Luke Kagiri, Juliet Lukwago, Francis Kagolo, Charles Ariko, Andante Okanya, Charles Jjuuko, and Juliet Waiswa.