Kireka, a suburb of Kampala, was yesterday a scene of pandemonium after a distressed Boda Boda rider tried to burn himself with petrol, but ended up running to the same tormentors to save him.
According to Uganda Police Spokesman Fred Enanga, Emmanuel Kabanda bought petrol and a matchbox and set himself ablaze in protest against his failure to recover his impounded motorcycle.
Kabanda is the second Boda Boda rider to set himself on fire following the shocking incident in which another young man Hussein Walugembe burned himself to death also in protest over extortion by police officers in Masala. His bike had also been seized for violating curfew hours.
According to Enanga, Kabanda and 10 other Boda riders were netted by police for violating the curfew.
They were arrested at 8:30pm and their motorcycles were impounded at Kireka Police post yard.
Kabanda reportedly stormed the police post at about 9 pm and demanded his machine Reg. UDU 610H but was instead asked to return in the morning.
Enanga added that distressed Kabanda left and was shortly heard yelling for help about 30 meters from the police post with his body on fire.
“The suspect then left the station and after a short while, he was seen about 30 meters away from the Police station while running, burning, and crying for help,” Enanga explained.
Enanga says police officers immediately rushed to the scene and poured water on him before taking him to Kiruddu Hospital where he is currently hospitalized in a critical state.
“Statements have been recorded from all the witnesses and exhibits include a mineral water bottle that he allegedly used for buying petrol, burnt shirt, shoes, and others have been recovered and transferred to Government Analytical Laboratory for analysis.” Enanga warned against such incidences and added that, they are treating this case as an attempted suicide as investigations continue.
“The public should avoid such incidences because they come with a lot of problems like medical bills, death and a lot of investigations to be conducted,” he warned.