Tear Gas, Bullets Rock Mbale Town As Property Is Destroyed

nurse geneva;”>“It began about a year ago, when we were served with notices of eviction the by unknown people who claimed they had bought the land on which we were from the municipal council. When we went to the municipal council, the RDC and the Town clerk assured us that they had not sold the land to anybody, and they even urged us to fight anybody who tried to evict us,” said Pius Wamanga.

However last night “At around 1 am I heard a lot of noise outside, I woke up and came out to check on what was happening only to find over a hundred kanyamas demolishing the kiosks and shops as the rest were on guard,” said Pius Wamanga, one of the residents whose property was destroyed in the process.

Soon he was joined by other residents and by 3 am, the RDC of Mbale had arrived at the scene ‘but couldn’t do anything since he didn’t have any enforcement’ and even then, we were few. At around 4 am the number of shop and kiosk owners had increased and the Kanyamas were over powered though a great deal of property had been looted and destroyed.

While pointing at a kiosk that was turned upside down, Wamanga said, “that has been my saloon but now, it is no more-computers and machines have been stolen plus the dressing mirrors which have been broken.”

Prossy Nandudu couldn’t help looking at here dairy kiosk which was deformed, “they took off with my freezers which I had just bought. This was loan money which I was planning to pay back soon. I am now at zero; almost all of my working capital was here- including the money from yesterday’s sales however nothing has been left.”

At around 7 am in the morning when more people like Nandudu and Wamanga had arrived at the scene, they decided to put up a protest by blocking the road from Kumi to Kampala. This was followed by the arrival of the police and the fire brigade that lit out the burning tyres that had been put in the road as tear gas and bullets were fired to disperse hundreds of people who almost overpowered the police that they had to for 4 more police patrols.

However, in the scuffle that lasted for almost an hour, no person was seriously injured though some sustained minor injuries like bruises they got while running away from tear gas and bullets .

The disputed land is directly opposite the Islamic University in Uganda main campus in Mbale and according to the residents, they claim it was bought by one of Mbale’s Tycoons. “They have always been coming but they always find us alert since they come during day time, the last time they were here was on Monday after they seven days that they claimed to have given to us to vacate the land had elapsed however we resisted them and they went away,” said Kirui who is in his late sixties.


However efforts to get a comment from the municipal council were futile as the town clerk was “busy” and couldn’t make a comment while his assistant’s known phone numbers were off.

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