Aruu county MP, Odonga Otto has asked government through its security organs to explain why they chose to fire live bullets to disperse peaceful protesters in Gulu town on Monday.
A number of people were left injured and several arrested during the protest in Gulu town as protesters held a demo to express their dissatisfaction with the persistent electricity power outages in the area by electricity distributor, Umeme in recent weeks.
Otto told the media at Parliament on Wednesday that it is disturbing and disappointing that government chose to fire live bullets at its own citizens who were not violent.
“Why would government use live bullets on its citizens who are tax payers? If you use live bullets on your own citizens, what will you use the day you are invaded by foreign forces? Will you use an atomic bomb or a nuclear weapon?” Otto wondered.
He said that despite the options given by President Yoweri Museveni to security agencies on dispersing protesters which included arresting, handcuffing, using batons, rubber bullets, teargas, firing in the air, all these were neglected by the security personnel in Gulu.
Otto as well questioned why security chose a UPDF officer, Maj Onekomon Ki-koko to lead the operation to quell the protest in Gulu instead of trained police officers.
“To the surprise of everyone, they [government] deployed an ex-LRA combatant, Maj Onekomon Ki-koko to disperse the crowds. He should be in rehabilitation centres,” Otto said.
The legislator said that managing an issue as sensitive as managing a crowd requires a Senior Supretendant of Police whose command ought to be based on the law and making pronouncements in the name of the government of Uganda.
He observed that there are very many trained Police officers who would be eligible to disperse rioters peacefully.
“As MPs from Northern Uganda, we are documenting all these incidents and a law firm in Gulu is filing a suit against these individual officers that shot Ugandan citizens with live bullets,” Otto said.
Otto took part in the said protest together with Kilak county MP, Gilbert Olanya among other local leaders.