Gunfire from UPDF soldiers, deployed as part of the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) enforcement team, resulted in severe injuries to four individuals in Okollo Town Council, Madi Okollo District. The incident occurred during the impoundment of unregistered motorcycles in a trading center on Wednesday, as recounted by eyewitness Patrick Atiku, the Ogoko Sub-county councilor in Madi Okollo District.
According to Atiku, three of the victims sustained leg injuries, while one was struck in the stomach by a bullet. Shockingly, two barbers and a young girl, allegedly unrelated to the group resisting impoundment, were among the injured.
Atiku provided his account of the events, stating, “In the afternoon, URA officials arrived to impound unregistered motorcycles near the Electoral Commission office at Okollo trading center. As they conducted their operations, there was no visible resistance. Suddenly, a stone landed on the roadside.”
He continued, “The stone did not reach any of the officers, but despite that, they began firing bullets indiscriminately, targeting innocent individuals engaged in their businesses.”
On the same day, Atiku claimed that the enforcers specifically targeted him, narrowly escaping harm. “Later, they departed for Nebbi Town with the impounded motorcycles, and we rushed the injured to Nebbi Hospital for treatment,” Atiku explained.
In response to the incident, URA’s Northern Uganda manager, Simon Tumwesigye, acknowledged being informed about the situation. However, he advised waiting for a comprehensive response, stating, “Police has also swung into action, and a report should be out soon.”
This occurrence on January 3rd is not the first instance of clashes between URA enforcers and civilians. The tax collection agency has been involved in altercations with locals in the past, including a fatal incident in November where one person died, and two siblings were critically injured. Previous confrontations and public outcry have accused URA officers of being excessively trigger-happy, especially when dealing with suspected smugglers in the region, though there are no official records indicating legal consequences for the shooters involved.