Kisenyi residents loot each other as march against crime turns violent

A peaceful march to protest the high crime rate in Kisenyi slum turned violent before they proceeded to loot household items from the neighborhood, which were incidentally their own homes.

Kisenyi. A peaceful demostration by  residents of Kisenyi, a slum in Kampala against Police’s failure to deal with rising crimes in the area turned violent after police teargased them.

The enraged residents then proceeded to unknowingly loot their own homes and are now demanding compensation.

A protester daring police in Kisenyi
A protester daring police in Kisenyi

“Our lives are in danger and this place has turned into some hell of sorts. Each day someone is looted or some house is broken into. It is very difficult for us to sell our weed and mairungi past midnight for fear of being robbed by fellow residents. We have lost our sleep while the Police seems to be in a slumber. We were protesting peacefully but were provoked by the police who just showed up without any prior written permission. What followed was unfortunate but Police is solely responsible for it.” Alphonse Nsubuga, one of the protesters who suffered five broken teeth and looted his own TV, said.

But police have denied that they used tear gas without any provocation or warning. It claims protestors tried to to snatch weapons from their policemen and had to quell the situatiin to stop the mob from turning into an armed gang of robbers.

“First of all they wanted to loot car parts from our own Police patrol cars, then they tried to snatch our guns and batons and phones. What do you expect the police to do in such case? If these people can loot each other’s homes with empty hands, imagine what they would have done with guns, tear gas and batons” Nyeko Bright, the OC Owino police post said.

The area MP has ordered an inquiry into the circumstances that led to the scuffle and ensuing looting by the residents. Residents have threatened another round of peaceful protests if they are not compensated.

“Police is telling lies. We were snatching weapons from Police to arm ourselves against the criminals in our area. Out of anger and frustration we looted the neighborhood, it’s absolutely normal you know. But fuck it. that doesn’t mean Police can ignore their duties. We are rightful citizens of this country.” Hajji Sayeed Kabugo, the LC chairman, Kisenyi South argued.

The local residents have also rejected Police’s appeal to return the looted household items to each other. The residents termed the Police’s appeal as ‘senseless and criminal’.

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