Kampala — Fourteen-year-old Jamiru Mubiru on July 20 headed to do menial job at Tesco Plastics Arcade in the city to raise tuition.
The Primary Six pupil at Nambogo Primary School in Gayaza was cleaning a building on Nakivubo Road.
Then a Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) law enforcement team, escorted by police, showed up that evening to crack down on street vendors.
Some of the retailers began hurling stones at the law enforcers as they seized their merchandise. The situation deteriorated fast.
"I came out and stood on the balcony to observe what was happening and when I craned my neck further, I was shot in the neck," Mr Mubiru said.
A policeman in the KCCA team allegedly fired the bullet. The victim collapsed, only regaining consciousness three days later on a hospital bed.
Medical notes show the teenager suffered injury on the left side of the neck as a result of a penetrating gunshot.
Dr Abubaker Bugembe, according to Mulago National Referral Hospital records, ordered CT-scan for the neck from the back of skull to the thoracic index in order to evaluate "severity of injury".
He also wanted an examination to check for any fistula in the pharynx. The examination result necessitated surgery on his neck.
As the pupil recovers, the hospital bills are piling. Good Samaritans on the fateful day first rushed him to the privately-owned Norvik Hospital on Bombo Road from where he was referred to Mulago, a government facility.
There is also trading of accusations and counter-accusations on the one hand and denials of responsibility on the other.
Mr Rinton Ssozi, the manager of Tesco Plastics, said police at Arua Park, which oversees the area where the shooting happened, declined to record their statement on the incident.
They were referred to the nearby Central Police Station, he said, but the Divisional police commander, Mr Joseph Bakaleke, directed them to lodge a complaint with KCCA since the alleged errant policeman was under their command at the time of the incident.
KCCA spokesperson Peter Kaujju said he is not aware that a policeman shot a person during one of City Hall's operations. He said he had no recollection of an operation by their law enforcement on the fateful day.
Mr Rusoke Kituma, KCCA's head of Operations, which supervises law enforcement, too said they conducted no swoop against vendors on July 20.
The back-and-forth has prompted the family to turn to a lawyer Edwin Tumushime, who said last evening that he will formally petition KCCA and police today to demand that they take responsibility and pick the pupil's medical bills.
Ms Isa Nsubuga, Mubiru's father, said the boy is due to be discharged but he worries about how to settle the arrears, including any recommended specialised treatment.
"I don't know how I will manage this situation because we have spent almost Shs1m and I don't have any other money," he said, pleading with KCCA and police to help out.
At the casualty ward where Mubiru is admitted, patients are given a cup of porridge in the morning and also served a meal of posho and beans at both lunch and dinner.
"All I want is that KCCA and police should show commitment and ensure that I regain my health because I want to go back to school. I have a lot of pain which needs a lot of medical attention, but this needs money," he said.
Mr Luke Owoyesigyire, the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, promised to follow up the matter with his DPC "so that we can get to the truth".