12 October 2017

Uganda: Age Limit - One Arrested Over Attack On Pupils

Kampala — Kampala South Police Division headquarters (Katwe) have arrested one Isaac Mukwaya in connection with the recent beating of pupils of Winterland primary school in Kyebando in Kawempe Division.

On October 3, innocent school children who were reportedly heading to Nkumba on Entebbe Road to perform during Annual Police Week were beaten up by a gang for wearing red ribbons.

The attackers, calling themselves members of Boda Boda 2010 Association, intercepted a coaster carrying 27 pupils accompanied by several security guards, two teachers and two drivers at Busega roundabout. The goons ordered the pupils to change their dresses from red to any other colour and remove the red ribbons they had tied on their heads.

Of recent, the red bandanas are worn by people who are opposed to the amendment of the Constitution to remove the presidential age limit. So the goons thought the pupils were demonstrating against the Constitution amendment.

Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson, Emilian Kayima, on Wednesday said Mukwaya was arrested by Kamapala Metropolitan South police after Natete Officer in Charge (OC), Muhammad Byansi, failed to arrest the suspects.

Mr Kayima explained that investigations have revealed that the suspect currently in cells was the first to stop the coaster along Northern Bypass and demanded for money.

"When the teachers and pupils failed to give money, [Mr] Mukwaya and his accomplices started clobbering occupants claiming they were protesters. No one had assigned them because police is not aware of them," Mr Kayima said.

The group of about 15 men were captured on footage claiming they had been assigned to protect peace and warned that they would beat up whoever dares protest against the removal of presidential age limit.

Mr Kayima said the group's commander was still at large. Police said the group has often staged road blocks along Northern Bypass and Entebbe Express highway and demanded money from drivers.

"They don't work for us and they don't have any document to show who deploys them to collect money. We believe their activities are illegal and we are going to arrest whoever we shall find doing it," Mr Kayima said.

Last week rights activists condemned the Boda Boda 2010 conducts and demanded for their immediate arrest and disbandment.

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