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Protesters burn police post after man shot dead in Busia

By John Mondoh | Published Fri, January 6th 2017 at 00:00, Updated January 5th 2017 at 22:20 GMT +3

Residents of Butula sub-county in Busia yesterday stormed and burnt down Burinda Administration Police camp and the chief's office in a protest.

The demonstration was sparked by the shooting dead of a boda boda rider by an AP officer.

The rider is alleged to have knocked down a child in front of the AP camp before he was confronted by officers who were nearby.

"There was a minor accident in the morning and two officers intervened. Then there was some little argument and we heard a gunshot, only to realise the boda boda man had been shot," said Beatrice Achieng, a witness.

"We came here (police post) demanding to be told why they had shot the man but they turned against us," added another.

For over five hours, police engaged the protesters in running battles, paralysing transport along the Bumala-Ejinja road.

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The protesters overpowered the officers and destruction of property began.

The Assistant Commissioner's Toyota Land-cruiser, the chief's office, the armoury, AP offices and residence were all set ablaze. Personal property of officers among them uniforms and certificates were destroyed alongside vital documents at the chief's office.

Journalists too were not spared as rowdy youths attacked a KTN cameraman and a reporter from The People Daily.

Locals later returned an AK-47 rifle they had taken from the armoury.

Officials representing boda boda operators led by Evans Nyabola condemned the killing of their colleague.

They also regretted the attack on the AP camp and called on security agencies to convene a consultative meeting with locals.

"It is sad that the public attacked the station causing destruction, though we also want answers on why police shot an unarmed boda boda operator," Mr Nyabola said.

Area MP Michael Onyura and Busia County assembly majority leader Josephat Wandera condemned the incidents.

Busia county commissioner John Chelimo confirmed the destruction of property.