Last week, 15 people sustained injuries when chaos broke out between residents of Kyere and TCU members led by the Kasilo County MP, Elijah Okupa. Robert Okurut, a 15-year-old student at Moruatiang Primary School, is still being treated for broken bones at Kumi Orthopedics. Robert Otai and Daniel Areu, both also 15, were taken to Serere Health Centre IV.
The chaos started after Okupa, who is also the chairperson of Teso Cooperative Union-TCU, convened a meeting with the residents of Kyere to discuss the development of the union. Some of its assets are in Kyere.
Residents found out that part of Okupa’s team was trying to break into Kyere Ginnery. The ginny was built in 1936 and is one of TCU’s assets. Access to it has been limited because minerals like mercury are thought to be there.
This angered the residents who were at the meeting. They demanded to know from the MP why part of his entourage was trying to break into the ginnery without their knowledge. But before any response from the MP, the residents turned rowdy and started hurling stones at the TCU team and the MP.
At a meeting with Patrick Okabe of Serere County and Hellen Adoa, the Woman MP for Serere, on Friday in Kyere, the locals said that looters had cost them money and that they had to pay for medical bills after police fired on them to get them to leave.
Abraham Oule, one of the residents of Kyere Town Council with injuries, says that the police attacked him at home, leaving the majority of his household members with wounds.
Oule says that he lost property worth three million shillings in addition to the damage caused to the house.
John Esadu, the Kyere Sub County Chairperson, says that TCU has attempted to access the ginnery more than five times in vain. Esadu says that the community is interested in the building because it is said to hold valuable minerals.
A spokesman for the East Kyoga Regional Police said that the investigation will tell them how to handle the situation.Ageca says that preliminary findings show that the residents started the chaos, leading to the police action.
“As the police, we have opened a case under file reference under CRB 26/15/10/2022 on this matter. “When we’re done with our investigations, we’ll let you know what to do next,” he said.