Uganda Police Force (UPF) Chief Martins Okoth Ochola has directed top officers to investigate claims that Hussein Walugembe set himself on fire over a bribe.
Walugembe, 25, set himself ablaze at Masaka Police Station after “several failed attempts to reclaim his motorcycle.”
He had reported to police for two days but officers had refused to give him his red Bajaj Boxer registration number UDL 591R.
On June 30, Sgt Julius Ewalu impounded the motorcycle after he found it a petrol station under construction.
Walugembe worked at the construction site as casual labourer.
He was also a night watchman.
Police has dismissed reports that Walugembe was a commercial motorcyclist (bodaboda man).
He had acquired the motorcycle about a week ago and given it to a one Twaha Kaweesi to ride since he didn’t know how to ride it himself.
He committed suicide at the police station after attempts to get his motorcycle failed on July 01 and July 02.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said Kaweesi had raised Shs40,000 to bribe Traffic OC Sgt Ibrahim Ssesanga but Walugembe, who also did odd jobs at the station, stopped him.
He would later buy petrol from Mogus Station and set himself ablaze.
“He attempted to grab the officer [Ssesanga], for them to die together, but he escaped with minor burns, leaving the victim behind,” said Enanga.
PROBE STARTS, ARRESTS MADE
IGP Ochola has now ordered by Director Operations Edward Ochom and his Director of Traffic and Road Safety “to thoroughly investigate” the matter.
Enanga also revealed that Police has arrested Ssesanga and Ewalu because they “were insensitive to the plea of the victim.”
They will also face charges relating to their act of “exerting pressure on the victim to part with a 40,000= bribe for the release of his motorcycle.”
“They acted negligently and unreasonably in holding the motorcycle without explanation or issuance of an EPS ticket.”