A section of youths in Kinawataka zone, Mbuya parish in Nakawa Division, Kampala District yesterday turned the “Free Bobi Wine” campaign into extortion when they blocked the Mbuya-Kinawataka road and forced drivers to pay before crossing to either side.
On Wednesday, November 18, presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu alias Bobi Wine was arrested from Luuka District over flouting the COVID-19 guidelines set by the Electoral Commission and the Ministry of Health, which sparked off nationwide protests from his supporters.
In Mbuya, the protests broke out at around 1 pm when the youth started burning tyres, old jerrycans, dry wood and other plastics on the roads as they chanted “free Bobi Wine.”
Police officials who had partly cooled off another demonstration in Kireka Trading Centre responded in time and dispersed the crowds before they (the police) headed to Kitintale, where they had been informed of another protest.
The resilient youths, however, under their umbrella body code “UNATO” stormed the road again and lit fire in eight spots between the Kireka-Bugolobi Roundabout and Kinawataka Trading Centre.
Seven officers from the Local Defense Unit (LDU) commanded by one UPDF official, who had been left to monitor the scene, responded with live bullets to disperse them but in vain.
The numerous groups of the rowdy youths dominated the cat-rat chase and the extortion along the Mbuya-Kinawataka road took root.
Every vehicle that came by, after ‘surviving’ about four fire spots, had to pay a fee to the angry boys or else turn back.
Hours later, a UPDF officer aboard a patrol van fired Live Bullets among the protesters, which left three people with severe injuries in the legs.
The victims were rushed to the Good Samaritan Clinic, where they received first aid before being taken to Naguru Hospital.
The extortion took about three hour before Police redeployed its officers who engaged in running battles with the youth up to 7pm.
It has been established that Police patrolled the area till late to ensure that no more criminal activities would be conducted.