Don’t blame URA, UPDF for Arivu shooting, locals told

ARUA | RedPepper Digital – The 409 UPDF Brigade Commander, Lt. Col. Jackson Kayanja has appealed to the people of Egara A. village in Arivu sub-county, Arua district not to blame Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and the UPDF for the Monday morning shooting in the area.

He instead said the UPDF officer attached to the URA enforcement team who opened fire killing one person and injuring another, is to be blamed for his action.

Kayanja assured the locals in a meeting shortly after the 9:00am incident that the errant UPDF officer who is now under their custody at Bondo Army barracks will be brought before a military court martial at the scene of the crime.

According to William Nguma, the Egara A. village chairperson, the UPDF officer shot Bosco Edema Jurua, a 16-year-old Barber at Arivu trading center dead and later turned the trigger on Gertrude Afunia, 26, a mother of two and shot her in the hand.

Nguma narrated that Edema met his fate while returning to his saloon after taking breakfast while Afunia who is now fighting for her life at Arua regional referral hospital was shot while heading to Arivu market.

He said the incident occurred when the URA enforcement team had gone to the area to impound unregistered motorcycles.

But during the meeting convened to arrest the situation, Kayanja assured the angered locals that the law is going to catch up with the UPDF officer by all means.

“What makes the officer on duty to shoot? We condemn it! That UPDF officer will be brought to face the law. We are going to request for the court martial to come and sit here. In the Army, when you make any mistake, we punish you where you have committed the offense,” Kayanja promised.

“I want to thank those who went and calmed down our people and now I can see there is peace. Let us allow the law to take its course; don’t destroy property, don’t hit vehicles and don’t burn tyres because what happened today is caused by an individual. It is not UPDF and it is not URA to be blamed but that person who picked the gun and shot at people and he will answer,” Kayanja retaliated.

Kayanja’s remarks followed Arua district chairperson, Alfred Okuonzi’s demand to have the UPDF officer prosecuted before the aggrieved locals.

“Without any reservation, this UPDF officer must be brought to book and he must be brought to the firing squad. This is very inhuman and very unprofessional! The person you are shooting is not on motorcycle, the woman you are shooting is not even having a motorcycle, what is wrong with you?” Okuonzi wondered.

Speaking on phone, Ivan Kakaire, the URA enforcement officer in charge of the West Nile region apologized to the bereaved family.

“I also want to register my sincere condolence towards the family of the young boy. I can only say we are sorry, but I want to promise that whoever has done this; this time will be taken on individually and be charged. People should rest assured that action will be taken against the individual who shot those locals,” Kakaire said.

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