Kampala cops scared of old car tyres than grenades

Police started impounding any vehicle found to be carrying tyres.

Forget grenades! Can you imagine old tyres are now the most dangerous weapon you could have the misfortune of being found in possession of in Kampala?

And now my compound landscaping business is in ruins. All because of these men fighting their political battles. Only God can save me from financial ruin, courtesy of Kampala cops.

So the men have been getting violent with their friends. It started in June when a jocular retired soldier and Member of Parliament for Arua Municipality in the northern Uganda was shot dead in his yellow car with his bodyguard near Kampala.

The yellowness of the car was his demonstration of support for the ruling party NRM. Two months later, a by-election had to be held in Arua Municipality to replace the late Ibrahim Abiriga. All the big party boys from Kampala converge in Arua to campaign for their candidates.

But there was this non-party boy, called Bobi Wine, an independent MP who also joined parliament in a by-election last year, who took Arua by the storm. In the last one year, a number of by-elections held in the different parts of the country were won by candidates whom Bobi Wine supported.

In Arua, he supported a candidate who again won, despite his being detained in prison during the voting process. Anyway, the news from Arua was not about the winning candidate, but about Bobi Wine who was arrested by security and tortured to unconsciousness, then taken to the army court martial despite being a civilian.

It was a fast moving theater of of confusion in Arua, starting with the reported stoning of a presidential vehicle, the shooting to death of Bobi Wine's driver at point blank range, the arrest of several MPs from the opposition and the beating up of Bobi Wine.

When news of Bobi Wine's torture and military detention reached Kampala, enraged men started protesting, burning olds car tyres in the roads.

Now if anything annoys physical planners and authorities, it is the burning of tyres on the roads. They burn slowly and melt the tar in the tarmac roads which cost millions of borrowed dollars to make.

Although this tyre burning has been done for years at midnight on December 31st to celebrate New Year, it has never annoyed government like it did when used to express anger over Bobi Wine's arrest. Police started impounding any vehicle found to be carrying tyres. 

Now old tyres have always been good raw materials for different businesses, the commonest being the making of sandals like the ones Masaai guys wear. They are also used to fix play grounds in many nursery schools.

I have been using them in my compound landscaping. But not anymore. Since this Bobi Wine business started, nobody dares being caught with an old tyre.

There are reports that even new tyres in shops have been 'victimised'. So dear God, help me by removing tyres from the list of dangerous weapons or else I might starve. At this rate, I hope people with worn tyres on their vehicles won't be charged with planning illegal protests!



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