On 2 July 2020, Hussein Walugembe set himself ablaze with petrol and fire at Masaka police station out of frustration after several failed attempts to reclaim his impounded motorcycle from the station.
The Police Disciplinary Standby court in Masaka led by David Manzi has dismissed two police officers from duty in connection to Hussein’s death. Sergeant Julius Ewalu and Sergeant Ibrahim Ssesanga have been fired from the Uganda Police Force with overwhelming evidence that the two while enforcing the COVID-19 induced curfew regulations have been soliciting bribes from various motorcycle riders.
The two officers were accused of abuse of office, and corrupt tendencies of soliciting bribes which led to the death of Hussein Walugembe. The deceased who was a casual worker at Masaka Central police station died after setting himself on fire inside the police station and died soon after the burns.
“The right to life is a fundamental human right that when lost is irreplaceable. It was incumbent upon the defaulter to do all that was within his power to save the life of Walugembe Hussein. Court sentences the defaulter dismissal from the Uganda Police Force,” David Manzi, Chairperson Police Disciplinary Standby court said as he read out their charges.
Hussein fell victim of this duo menace when his motorcycle was confiscated on 6 June 2020, by Sgt. Ewalu Julius, after it was found parked at a petrol station where he worked as a local night guard. They solicited a sum of shs40,000 for his bike to be returned which he did not have. Hussein became frustrated after going to the station several times until he finally ended his anguish.
The government began easing lockdown measures in May, however, motorcyclists still have stringent regulations as they are not allowed to carry passengers and should be off the road by 5 pm.