Live Bullets Rock Kachumbala as Residents Try to Evict Police Officers

By George Emuron

Police used live bullets to disperse angry residents who stormed Kachumbala police post in Kachumbala Sub County in Bukedea district on Tuesday afternoon to evict the officers for alleged connivance with cattle thieves.

The angry residents were enraged by the failure of police to stop a vehicle of suspected cattle thieves after it was intercepted by residents on Monday night.

Armed with sticks, clubs and stones, the angry residents stormed the police post determined to evict the police officers prompting them to open live fire to disperse them. Sam Odongoi, who led the protesters, said that on Monday night residents staged a roadblock and intercepted a vehicle of suspected cattle thieves after one of the residents raised alarm about the theft of his bull.

He says they notified police, which joined the residents and set up another roadblock. Odongoi, says the same vehicle overran the roadblock and they asked the officers to fire at the car in vain, saying their guns had malfunctioned.

“We want all these police officers to vacate the police post and let security organs bring us another police officers, if not we are going to burn this police post. How comes when we were struggling with thieves the officer told us that their guns cannot shut and now they are shooting at us,” said Odongoi.

James Khaukha, the Kachumbala Sub County LC III Chairperson, says, residents have reported several cases of cattle theft to his office. He says that over 200 head of cattle have been stolen in his sub-county within a space of two months, adding that he has repeatedly invited the Officer in Charge of Kachumbala police post to discuss the matter in vain.

Khaukha has thrown his weight behind the residents calling for the transfer of all police officers from the post, saying they have failed to perform their duties. “We want all these police officers out. I am wondering why their guns couldn’t work on wrong people at night but they are able to shoot at innocent people,” he said.

Ali Kakooza, the Officer in Charge of Bukedea Central Police station who represented the district police Commander, Ezra Tugume called for calm from the residents. He said their complaints will be addressed by the top security officers and take appropriate action. Charles Ichogor, the Bukedea Deputy Resident District Commissioner, says security matters should be handled by the urgency they deserve.

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