The street vendors who were battered by security forces in the last Thursday crackdown have asked the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces to apprehend the LDU officers who beat them up.
The women were on Monday, 30 invited for a meeting with the UPDF chief of defence (CDF), Maj. Gen. David Muhoozi for mitigation over an apology. One of the battered vendors, Hadijja Aloya trashed the UPDF apology saying it’s not enough to heal her injured back and also erase away the shame it projected to her five children. “Yes, we’ve got the apology but how about our respect in the community, the dehumanizing way we were handled?,” she questioned. The Kamwokya based mother of seven has been in the street vending business since the 1990’s. She says her small ‘hand to mouth’ venture has ably enabled her fend for her seven children with the eldest pursuing a Bachelor’s degree course at Makerere University. Hadijja is afraid, the injuries she sustained during the street clash may disable her from effectively advancing with her business. “I cannot stand well because these people hit my back with an electric wire and whips. I looked at one of them, he is too young to be my own son,” a tearful Hadijja narrates.
Awori Christine, a resident of Nakukabye and a mother of five and a brutality victim also sought treatment for her injuries. She says, her eleven year old daughter with whom they were beaten is in bad condition. CDF, Muhoozi apologised to the battered women and pledged to iron out the loopholes. He also revealed that the commander of the deadly operation was reshuffled for supervising terror meted out on civilians. “I have reshuffled the commander of that operation because that brutality was unnecessary and unacceptable,” Muhoozi said. However, the battered women requested that the LDU soldiers who dehumanised them should also be brought to book such that justice can prevail.