Two Uganda policemen have been arrested over the death of a man who set himself ablaze after his motorcycle had been impounded by officers from Masaka central police station.
However, it turned out that the man was a cook at the same police station – he had simply bought a motorcycle to supplement his income, but he was not a Boda-boda rider himself.
Although he did not divulge their names, the Greater Masaka police commander, Enoch Abaine, said police officers who include the officer who impounded the bike, were arrested to help in investigations into circumstances under which Hussein Walugembe torched himself.
New Vision quotes, Abaine, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, who confirmed that Walugembe was a police cook and that he did not even know how to ride a bike.
“He bought the bike to supplement his income. He thought that given his position, policemen would accord him special treatment. As a result, he got frustrated,” explained Abaine, who said investigations into the matter were ongoing.
Earlier on Thursday, Abaine told the media that the matter had already been handed over to the police’s Professional Standards Unit for investigations.
At first, Police officers at Masaka police station claimed that Walugembe’s bike was impounded for breaching COVID-19 directives when they allegedly found him riding after 5:00 pm when Boda-boda riders are supposed to stop working.
But other witnesses alleged that policemen found his motorcycle parked near Shell Buddu petrol station in Masaka town and impounded it.
Walugembe, 26, later followed the officers to Masaka police station and demanded that his motorcycle be released because it had been wrongly impounded.
However, sources said police officers instead allegedly demanded money from Walugembe, which angered him.
Walugembe is said to have been a resident within Masaka police barracks and known at the police station as he used to cook food for inmates. He is also said to have bought a motorcycle to run errands to supplement his income
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