he Uganda Revenue Authority and Uganda Police in a rush to clarify the source and outcome of protests in Yumbe District have issued statements with each explaining their own version of the protests.
There were reports that an operation by Uganda Revenue Authority to crack down unregistered Boda Bodas created havoc in Yumbe leading to a violent protest that climaxed in burning of cars and loss of lives.
However, in a clarification later, URA assistant commissioner Public and corporate affairs Vincent Sseruma in an official statement said there was no URA enforcement in the area as reported.
“Representatives of our legal team were in Yumbe on litigation duty and the District court. An organized mob attacked our team, pelting stones as a show of resistance of the enforcement team’s operations in the area against smuggled rice and unregistered motorbikes boda bodas,” Sseruma said.
According to Sseruma, after the URA team was attacked, they took refuge at the court house to save their lives until the URA security detail dispersed the angry mob with bullets fired in the air, but they regrouped again and vandalised the URA vehicle before being dispersed a second time.
“The rioters proceeded to town and burnt two NGO vehicles and other property. Contrary to social media reports, no one was shot, there was no loss of lives,” Sseruma added.
However, Uganda Police Spokesperson Emilian Kayima diverted from Sseruma’s statement, instead telling a different story of what transpired.
Kayima in a statement said that the riots were sparked by a previous URA operation to crack down on unregistered boda bodas. According to the police mouthpiece, rioters ambushed a URA vehicle at sight and vandalised it.
However, in self defence a soldier shot in the air to disperse the rowdy residents in the process injuring two people.