The recent clashes in Lira district are a manifestation that more Ugandans have lost confidence in the criminal justice system, according to members of the parliamentary forum for children.
The statement follows numerous clashes between locals and members of the Asian community. The fights were triggered by the death of an 11-year-old boy Dickens Okello, who was allegedly strangled to death by two Asian traders, later identified as Vayas Fravey and Madmay Gaga.
The death sparked protests in Lira town and later in Kole, where the deceased was buried on Saturday. Police used live bullets and teargas to contain a group of locals who had waged an attack against Asian businesses in the town.
But Bernard Atiku, the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Children’s affairs says that the news of child’s strangling is traumatizing adding that such trauma is pushing the community which is now desperate for justice, yet operating in a vacuum, and expecting less from the criminal justice system.
An Indian national was in October arrested in Lira and remanded to Lira prison after beating up his servant into coma. He accused the worker of wastage while preparing meals.
During the post-mortem, I was in the room together with Dr Francis Olwa [police pathologist] as he carried out the post-mortem. The deceased’s neck was turned round with blood in his eyes,” Dr Nam told Daily Monitor on Monday.
Dr Nam added that another post-mortem conducted by government pathologists in Kampala on Monday indicated that there was a blood clot in the deceased’s neck. The District Woman Member of Parliament, Ms Judith Alyek, also indicated that as members of the Lango Parliamentary Group, they disown the police report.
“We will not sit and watch such incidences continue in our region. We shall present the problems before Parliament so that if possible, they find a way forward to helping our people,” she said.
Okello, a Primary Three pupil, was found dead near the school premises at around 4pm as the pupils returned home from school on Friday. It is reported the deceased was with his friends when the two Indian nationals, who were driving a white Toyota Ipsum, lured them with biscuits.
According to a witness, the suspects, now under custody at Kole Central Police Station, also offered the children Shs2,000. But when the children reportedly refused and ran away. The suspects allegedly chased after them, pounced on Okello and allegedly strangled him. Following the incident, the two suspects allegedly sped off but were immediately arrested by the residents and later handed over to police. A murder charge has been preferred against them.
On May 5, two Indian nationals in Lira also allegedly put red pepper into their servant’s anus, accusing him of stealing bread.