Makerere Disowns Teargas, Bomb Maker

Makerere Disowns Teargas, Bomb Maker

By Serestino Tusingwire

Makerere University has disowned Samuel Mugarura, who claims to have made teargas from local materials like sugar.

Dr. John Wasswa, the head of the Chemistry department, under the College of Natural Sciences, said Mugarura specializes in plant science and he could not claim to make teargas or smoke bombs.

“Mugarura is a student of botany and not chemistry. He cannot claim to be making bombs,” Dr. Wasswa said, adding: “We need to see his work, but for now, he is just claiming.”

Mugarura, 23, a third year student of Bachelor of Sciences, shook the country and caught the attention of security agencies after he on Sunday blasted what he said was a home-made teargas canister.

In an interview, Mugarura said that he can also make smoke bombs and would be happy to benefit from government funding with a prospect of industry-scale production of the explosives.

“We spend a lot of money on importing teargas. Why should police be jealous of my innovations instead of supporting me?” Mugarura said, claiming that he has spent Shs3.4m over the last two years to locally buy the ingredients.

Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Emilian Kayima said they had confiscated a teargas canister at Mugarura’s residence, which the government chief chemist is analyzing to establish the contents.

Teargas is Uganda police’s widely used tactic in crowd control, and the Force each year spends millions of shillings to procure it.