"We are investigating some of the civilians who took over police work and beat up people"
A total of forty people have been arrested in Mbale for allegedly participating in yesterday’s riot that paralyzed the town for more than six hours.
A fight between two mechanics over the arrest of Kiiza Besigye yesterday sparked off riots in Mbale that last for more than six hours.
The riot began as a mere quarrel and fight between two mechanics in Mbale Garage. The two mechanics who are from opposing political camps clashed over the manner of the arrest of Besigye.
The fight attracted other fellow mechanics and soon the town was engulfed in riots. Rioters who included men and women rampaged through the town burning tyres and blocking off all major roads leading to Mbale town.
Now the police say they have arrested forty suspected rioters.
Diana Nandaula the eastern police spokesperson says the group is accused of inciting violence, malicious damage and participating in an unlawful assembly.
She explains that the group burnt a government vehicle, destroyed a police fire brigade truck and participating in an unlawful assembly.
Those arrested however complained of being beaten.
A suspect who was brought to police by a stick wielding civilian was bleeding profusely. He says he was going home when he was attacked and beaten by a soldier. He had deep wounds on the head.
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Diana Nandaula the spokesperson says police headed by Philip Achaye the Regional Police Commander is investigating reports that some civilians took over police work of policing and beat up rioters.
She says some of the civilians who beat up people have been summoned to report to Mbale Central Police Station.
Several people were yesterday beaten up by the army and the police.
The situation was only saved by the arrival of Lt. Col Joseph Balikudembe who reprimanded the soldiers for beating civilians along the streets.
Balikudembe also personally disarmed some of the veterans who had been given fireams by the police.
Relative calm has returned to the town but the streets remain deserted.
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walk to work protests