Hoima residents torch police station

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Angry residents stormed and torched Runga Police Post in Kigorobya Sub-county, Hoima District following the death of a suspect while in police custody.

William Okello was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly stealing a battery from Runga Landing Site and detained at Runga Police Post.

He reportedly escaped and fled but was later arrested and returned to the police cells on the same day. He died in the police cell under unclear circumstances.
When residents learnt of Okello’s death, they raided the police post, accusing officers of torturing him to death.

Attempts by police to disperse the mob by firing bullets in the air failed. The mob that was armed with stones, sticks, spears and machetes kept advancing towards the station, forcing officers to flee.
They then descended on the abandoned post and set it ablaze.

The Hoima District police commander, Mr Peter Mugabi, said police reinforcement and UPDF soldiers were sent to the area to restore law and order.
“Five suspects have been arrested in connection with the violence and investigations are ongoing. We shall keep you updated on the status of the investigations,” Mr Mugabi said.

Meanwhile, a mob in Kigorobya Sub-county has attacked workers employed by an investor to erect a boundary on a contested five square mile piece of land.

Workers attacked
Workers of Mr Abdul Malik Mugisa, a Hoima-based businessman, were attacked by residents armed with machetes, spears, bows and arrows, who were protesting his activities on the land that is adjacent to the oil sites in the Albertine graben.

“I was among those who were surrounded by unknown people armed with arrows. I sustained an injury on my hand. I ran and hid in the bush until I was helped by Good Samaritans to get treatment at Hoima Regional Referral Hospital,” Ms Caroline Babirye, a victim of the attack, said.

The Albertine Regional police spokesperson, Mr Julius Hakiza, said the mob burnt a grader which was opening up a road in the land and a police motorcycle which had transported police personnel to the area.
The mob also reportedly destroyed a lorry and a car they found on the contested land.

“Five people sustained injuries and were rushed to Hoima Regional Referral Hospital. Some sustained wounds after being shot at with arrows. A gun belonging to a private security guard who was among guards of the investor, was allegedly snatched by an unidentified person. The gun is still missing,” Mr Hakiza said.

Tension has been high in the area since May 5 when Dr Noah Byenkya Kasigwa and Mr Dismus Byenkya entered into an understanding allowing Mr Mugisa to undertake developments on the land covering the villages of Hanga, Kabatindule and Lenju in Kigorobya Sub-county.

The Masindi High Court registrar issued an order directing the Hoima District surveyor to open boundaries of the land located at plot number 13, Bugahya Block 6 measuring approximately 1.294.76 hectares.

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