Street children torch 20 kiosks after police raid
Kolawole damilare Emmanuel
Sept. 09, 2019
By DENIS EDEMA
JINJA - Street children have torched over 20 kiosks in Walukuba-Masese Division, Jinja municipality and threatened to raze down a Born Again Church within the same area after police invaded their hideout on Monday morning.
The over 80 street children, who have sought sanctuary in the area for the past two years, accused residents of reporting them to police.
Earlier, police received reports that an influx of street children was posing a threat to residents, with some accounts suggesting that churchgoers were being waylaid and gang raped.
The District Police Commander, Mr Vincent Irama, who commanded the operation, said the area has experienced insecurity issues caused by the street children.
“We received a request from municipal council authorities to beef up security for its enforcement officers while they destroy illegal structures in the area, mostly those occupied by the street children,” Mr Irama said.
“We are not going to let people, especially those working around this place to have peace. They have reported us to police, destroyed our residences and we now have nowhere to sleep,” one of street children said, urging government to come to their rescue lest they ‘do whatever it takes to earn a living’.
Some street kids later turned violent and started pelting stones at journalists who were covering incident, while their colleagues torched the kiosks in full glare of their helpless local leaders.
Police at the scene.
By the time the fire was put out by the police fire brigade, several items had been reduced to ashes.
This is not the first time the street children and residents are coming into confrontation. In January, they pelted pedestrians with stones and destroyed property while avenging the death of their colleague who was allegedly caught carjacking along Clive Road East.
The deceased, only known as Kasoga, was dumped at Rippon Gardens after reportedly being caught attempting to break into a Toyota Super Custom vehicle.
Immediately, a group of angry street children armed with machetes, stones, sticks, hammers, hoes and insults took to the street and started beating up people indiscriminately.
By the end of the fracas, 20 of them had been arrested. The Jinja District Police Commander, Mr Vincent Irama then said they would be charged as adults since they are above the age of 18.