By David Awori
Three people are nursing gunshot wounds at Masafu hospital in Busia district after Police fired stray bullets while attempting to arrest a suspect at Bukorobi trading centre, Lunyo sub-county on Sunday night.
The injured include Mr. Clement Okuku, Mr. Bernard Okuku, and Mr. Henry Enali.
Mr. Enali, who sustained injuries in his left leg, said he was having a social evening at the trading centre at around 8pm when policemen (in plain clothes) from Lunyo Police Post arrived and opened fire shortly after.
“As I tried to flee from the scene, I fell down, only to realise that I had been shot in the leg,” Mr. Enali said.
Mr [Clement] Okuku, who sustained an injury in his right hand, said the Police were trying to arrest a boda boda rider who was reported to have committed a traffic offense, but he escaped, prompting them to open fire, injuring him and two other bystanders.
The third victim, who is a boda boda rider and a resident of Ganjala village, said he had just taken money for the day’s work to the owner of the motorcycle when he heard gunshots.
“Unfortunately, before running for my safety, I realised I had been shot twice in the legs,” he narrated.
Mr. Didas Byaruhanga, the Busia District Police Commander (DPC), confirmed the shooting, but described the injuries as “minor” and caused by teargas canisters fired by his officers dispersing a crowd that was attacking them.
However, Ms. Angela Erumbi, a nurse at Masafu hospital, said the trio sustained gunshot wounds.
Mr. Moses Macho Fudyembe, one of the relatives to the injured, criticised the Police for indiscriminately shooting at bystanders when their intended suspect had committed a minor offense.
“Our officers need reorientation because you cannot open fire in a crowded trading center because you want to arrest someone who has committed a traffic offense,” Mr. Macho said.
Mr. Michael Kibwika, the Resident District Commissioner (RDC), said he has instructed the Busia Police hierarchy to arrest the officers behind the shooting, adding that the incident dents the “good image” of the Police and the government.