Senior Police officer arrested over death of Protester

Uganda Police spokesperson Fred Enanga

A senior Police officer who commanded an early morning operation to disperse a protest over the closure of a road in Wankulukuku in the Rubaga division, Kampala has been arrested.

During the operation, one person identified as David Kibuuka, a resident of Sembule, was shot dead. Justus Bwire, who led the Police team, was detained at Old Kampala Police Station after residents stormed the Kironde Police post and threatened to raze it down.

Kibuuka, who was the village information officer, was shot dead after using a loudspeaker to mobile residents to demonstrate against the decision by a local company to close a public road and block drainage channels.

The Police first arrested him and bundled him onto their pickup truck before the area LC1 chairperson, Abas Ssematimba, intervened. Kibuuka was then set free only to be shot dead later.

The demonstration started peacefully until Kibuuka was killed, angering the residents.

Police speak out

In a statement, the deputy Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire, said there was an illegal protest at around 10:30 am along Wankulukuku Road, at a factory over the closure of a community road.

Police officers from Kironde led by Bwire moved in to restore calm. Owoyesigyire said one of the officers fired a bullet to disperse the protesters and in the process, Kibuuka was shot.

“The Police officers rushed him to Mulago Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival,” he said.

Owoyesigyire said the Kampala Metropolitan South Command was investigating the incident. The protest targeted the premises of Shreeji Stationers 2009, whose owners they blamed for blocking a community road.

Efforts to get a comment from Shreeji Stationers 2009 managers failed. Kampala Capital City Authority Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago visited the area in the company of councilor Ismail Ddamba for Lubaga III.

Lukwago promised to follow up on the matter and ensure justice is served. 

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Lukwago Joseph grew up in a newspaper family, and rumor has it that instead of playing the guitar in his infancy, his parents put a reporter’s notebook and a pen next to him shortly after he turned born eight years. Before becoming editor of UGANDANZ, Lukwago was a parliament news editor for WBS TV. He joined UGANDANZ in July 2018, A few months after the company launched. Lukwago also spent five years as a freelance reporter, where he covered reporting for the highest bidder, intelligence, foreign policy, and Ugandan police. Lukwago graduated from Makerere University in 2008 with a B.A. in Journalism and worked on his college newspaper.