Policeman Injured in Scuffle Over School Playground

1488 Views Masindi, Uganda
A police officer has been injured in a scuffle over a school playground in Masindi. Sergeant Tibenda, was seriously injured on the head and neck after Pupils, parents and teachers roughed up a team of police officers and court bailiffs who were trying to seal off a school playground in Masindi. Bravo Court Auctioneers and policemen from Masindi police station, arrived at Biizi Primary School playground at around 6:00am, with tractors and started tilling the school's pitch under tight security. Their plans to seal off the playground were foiled by a resident's alarm that alerted the teachers, parents and pupils. Teachers, parents and pupils acted in unison demanding to know why the school playground was being sealed off. They claimed that David Tamuzadde, ordered the tractors to continue with the work amid protests, provoked their anger. Armed with sticks and stones, the pupils started attacking the police officers, while another group threatened to burn down the tractors, which were razing down the ground. The policemen shot in the air for about ten minutes, attracting more rage from the protestors. The pupils and residents of Biizi, some with soils from their gardens, unkempt hair and signs of sleep on their face matched through Masindi town, denouncing the NRM leadership. Some carried placards that read read "No play ground, no 2011 vote", " we have a right to play". They matched up to the office of the Resident District Commissioner, William Kabarole, who apologized for the shooting and ordered police to release a businessman who was arrested on suspicion of assaulting the police officer. The DPC Musa Okungo said police was acting on court orders. But the residents say, they are unwilling to hear anything, other than having the pitch in the school possession. Nakatte Annet, a teacher at the school explains the circumstances that stirred up the school and the villages. //Cue in: "When we reached............" Cue out: "........................of the school."// The area LCI chairman Godfrey Bitature, wants to redevelop the pitch. Bitature claims his father left behind the school's playing field. The school however says Bitature's father donated the land to the school, before he died. Bitature, who lost the NRM party primaries for the LCI slot has fled the village. It is said, the entire community voted against him over the same land issue. The school is government owned and like many others, it has been entangled in the land wrangle for long. Francis Byakagaga, the Masindi district education officer, says the issue is one of the many to do with land that affects the education sector in the district. By midday, Kabarole, teachers, police and political leaders were engrossed in a crisis meeting, while some pupils rushed back to school to level the area.

 

Tagged with: biizi primary school