Police in Sembabule District are holding one of their own for allegedly shooting a resident dead while dispersing a rowdy crowd.
Yakubu Mwambala, the officer in charge of Ntuusi police post reportedly shot dead Ambrose Niwagaba while dispersing people who were protesting encroachment on a community road.
Niwagaba was reportedly hit by a stray bullet and died on spot at Kitokolo Village in Ntuusi Sub County on Wednesday.
Residents accuse Ms Gwajwa Nabaasa, a self-styled spiritual healer of encroaching on a community road and later fenced it off.
When residents started protesting, Ms Nabaasa alerted police which responded by firing in air to contain the angry residents.
According to the village chairperson, Mr Mesach Kyambadde, residents had created a road through Nasaaba’s farm and they have been using it for a long time.
“But they [residents] were surprised by her action to fence off the land which angered them before they decided to protest,” he said.
He says residents pleaded with Nabaasa to allow them use the road since it’s the only shortest route connecting to the community water source but she couldn’t burge.
Southern Regional Police Spokesperson, Mr Muhammad Nsubuga confirmed Mwambala’s arrest, saying he is going to help police with investigations.
He, however, warned residents against attacking armed officers, saying it exposes them to danger.
“Preliminary investigations indicate that even when police tried to shoot in the air to contain the situation, the demonstrators continued advancing and tried to disarm the officer. He shot several times in air to scare them away but they never stopped being rowdy and in the process a stray bullet hit one of them,” he said.
Sembabule is one of the districts with unending land disputes and in some incidents the wrangles have turned violent.
Last year, the office of Resident District Commissioner (RDC) reported that it was overwhelmed by land disputes and by February 2019, the office was handling a total of 130 land cases from various parts of the district, some of them involving hundreds of people facing eviction.