2 shot, others clobbered as Museveni's ban on public transport is enforced

Alex Oryem was shot in the leg. Photo: Daily Monitor.

Two people were hospitalised after being shot and wounded by police officers enforcing President Yoweri Museveni’s directive suspending public transport in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus.  

In the March 25 announcement, the 74-year-old leader suspended taxis, passenger trains, buses, tricycles and boda bodas from operating for 14 days. Only private vehicles were allowed on the road, with but the number of passengers restricted to three.

According to reports, the two were shot while riding on a bodaboda within Mukono Municipality and are admitted at Mukono General Hospital. Police shot the duo, identified as Alex Oryem and Kasim Ssebude, in the leg and stomach respectively, accusing them of disobeying the president’s order.

READ ALSO: ‘Sensitize to sanitize’-Bob i Wine uses song to fight coronavirus

"As we were going to work, we met two officers who blocked us and blamed us for being two on a motorcycle. When we tried to ask the officers what offence we had committed, they just started shooting at us," Oryem told Daily Monitor, claiming to be unaware of the directive.

However, speaking to the press, Patrick Onyango, the Kampala metropolitan police spokesperson said the two construction workers were shot after allegedly trying to attack a police officer.

“After police stopped them, they tried to attack our officers. He first fired warning shots in the air. People should not defy presidential directives aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus in Uganda,” he said.

Defiant Ugandans clobbered

Women react after being beaten by police officers. Photo: Daily Monitor.

In widely shared photos on social media, police fired teargas canisters to disperse Kampala residents who were going about their business as usual at bus stages. Bodabodas were impounded with members of the Local Defence Unit (LDU) whipping defiant citizens.

Police officers manning roadblocks ordered passengers riding in the co-drivers seat of private vehicles to move to the back.

READ ALSO: Busia runs out of soap as coronavirus scare bites

Speaking on the incident during a morning call with Sheila Kwamboka on Vybez Radio, Ugandan comedian Kansiime spoke on the conflict of interest seeing women being beaten up by security forces.

"It is so sad seeing a woman the age of your mother being beaten by the police. But I prefer that to her contracting the coronavirus posing a risk to herself and those around her,” Kansiime said.

President Museveni on Friday said four more people have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 18. He added that the four are under quarantine in various hotels identified by the government.