Bloody again as URA shoots four locals in Madi Okollo

Bloody again as URA shoots four locals in Madi Okollo

By Andrew Cohen Amvesi

ARUA. Four civilians are nursing bullet wounds in Nebbi General Hospital after trigger hungry Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) enforcement officers opened fire at them.

The four who are now fighting for their lives were identified by eyewitnesses as a female juvenile who was shot in the legs, two Barbers shot in the stomach and leg, and a herdsman commonly referred to as a Mulalo who was also shot in the leg.

The incident occurred at Okollo trading center in Okollo Town Council, Madi Okollo district on Wednesday at about 2:00pm.

According to Patrick Atiku, the councilor representing Ogoko sub-county to Madi Okollo district who witnessed the incident, the victims were shot by the URA officials who were impounding numberless motorcycles at the trading center.

“It was coming to 2:00pm when the URA officials arrived to impound numberless motorcycles near the Electoral Commission office at Okollo trading center. As they did their work, I saw nobody resisted. But from nowhere, a stone landed on the road side. The stone never touched any of the URA officers. However, they started firing bullets indiscriminately targeting the innocent people who were doing their own businesses,” Atiku said.

“In the process, the four were shot. One was shot in the stomach while the others in the legs. Later, they drove off towards Nebbi town with the motorcycles they impounded and we decided to rush the injured people to Nebbi hospital where they are right now receiving treatment,” Atiku explained.

When contacted on phone, Simon Tumwesigye, the URA General Manager for Northern Uganda said he can’t comment on the incident because they haven’t briefed him yet.

“We are trying to confirm the truth about the issue, so I can’t give you a comprehensive response. I first want to establish the facts on the ground and of course, police have swung into action and I think a comprehensive report will be out soon,” Tumwesigye said.

The Madi Okollo incident follows numerous cases in which URA officers have been accused of killing civilians in the West Nile region in the process of collecting taxes.

Just in November last year, the region lost two lives in the hands of URA officers in Koboko and Arua city, leaving others critically injured.

In Koboko, the URA enforcers shot and killed a suspected smuggler along the Uganda – DR Congo border.

The deceased was identified as Jackson Amori, 24, a resident of Ponura Parish, Lobule sub-county in Koboko district.

The situation worsened four days later when a 70-year-old woman who had just withdrawn her Parish Development Model (PDM) money from the bank was killed in an accident involving URA vehicles.

Margaret Ondiria, a resident of Ayuu village, Offaka sub-county in Madi Okollo died on spot during the accident which occurred at about 4:50pm along Arua-Nebbi Road next to Rhema hospital on November 14, 2023.

Two other people aboard the same motorcycle number UFP 940T sustained serious fractures and were rushed to Arua regional referral hospital.

The two were identified as Patrick Bulea and Beatrice Candiru, the only biological children of the deceased.

Silivio Wama, the husband of the deceased said the children had accompanied their mother to receive her PDM money from the bank in Arua and they were on their way back home at the time of the incident.

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