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Family wants justice for man, 73, assaulted by police

By Ignatius Odanga | Published Fri, July 20th 2018 at 00:00, Updated July 19th 2018 at 19:56 GMT +3
Police arrested Clement Buluma, 73, in Busia County accusing him of selling illicit liquor, but he has denied the claims. [Ignatius Odanga, Standard]

A family in Busia County wants action taken against police officers who allegedly assaulted a 73-year-old man and his grandchildren.

Officers from Busia Police Station and Busibwabo AP camp were said to have stormed the home of Clement Buluma in Esirisia, Matayos Constituency, on July 9 at midnight during an operation against dealers of illicit drinks.

When Mr Buluma declined to open the door, the officers were said to have tossed teargas canisters into the house where he and his grandchildren were sleeping.

The family has claimed the police attacked the elderly man when he finally opened the door, breaking arm.

According to the family, police searched the house but did not find any alcohol. Buluma was locked up in a police cell. The officers carried away three empty five-litre jerrycans and a jembe from the homestead.

Buluma was arraigned on July 10 and fined Sh50, 000 for selling traditional liquor. He was taken to Korinda Prison where he spent two nights as his family tried to raise the money.

He was released on Thursday. On Monday, Buluma was taken to the county referral hospital where an X-ray showed a fracture in his lower arm.

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“I could not have opened the door in the middle of the night for security reasons and again, I don’t sell alcohol,” said Balmain on Thursday.

“They acted like criminals. They lobbed tear gas into a house that had children. I refused to open the door after they failed to identify themselves," he said.

On Tuesday, Buluma went to record a statement at Korinda patrol base but was turned away. The following day, went to Busia Police Station but claims he was also turned away.

Buluma’s wife, Willimina, wants the officers who assaulted her husband and grandchildren punished.

“Why don't they want my husband to record a statement? It means they know what they did,” she said.

Willimina said when she sought to know why the officers were beating Buluma, they turned on her.

“They pushed me to the ground, tore up my clothes and arrested my husband," she said.

Buluma's son, Benjamin, criticised the police for carrying out raids at night and failing to identify themselves.

Area deputy OCPD Everlyne Korir said the matter was being investigated.

She confirmed that on July 9, police had carried out an operation against illicit drinks in several parts of the constituency.


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