The issue: Thuggery
Our view: All those who were involved in attacking the pupils, their teachers and the security escorts should be arrested.
On Thursday this paper carried a very disturbing story of an incident on Tuesday where innocent school children were beaten up by a gang for wearing red ribbons.
The children, all pupils of Winterland Primary School in Kyebando, Kampala, were reportedly heading to perform during Annual Police Week at Nkumba on Entebbe Road.
Worse still are the identity of this heinous gang and the reasons for which they attacked the pupils. The attackers, calling themselves members of Boda Boda 2010 Association, intercepted a coaster carrying 27 pupils accompanied by several security guards, two teachers and two drivers at Busega roundabout. The goons ordered the pupils to change their dresses from red to any other colour and remove the red ribbons they had tied on their heads.
Of recent, the red bandanas are worn by people who are opposed to the amendment of the Constitution to remove the presidential age limit. So the goons thought the innocent pupils were demonstrating against the Constitution amendment. This country is degenerating into wanton lawlessness and drifting to great danger.
This lawlessness is worrying to all peace loving and law abiding citizens. How can such a monstrous attack by members of a known lawless group with leadership hierarchy take place in the outskirt of the capital given the presence of police and other security agencies and nobody is arrested? Reports indicate that the group even had the audacity not only to bundle up police officers accompanying the children but also accused them of claiming to be officers yet they let teachers to allow their pupils wear red clothes to engage in political demonstrations.
This begs answers to the question: Are police officers required to determine what colour of clothes people wear? And even if this were true, is it the duty of the Boda Boda 2010 Association to supervise or direct the police on what to do? To date, the police have neither summoned nor arrested the goons of this group. The indifference of the police further complicates the puzzle. It is even bizarre that while the officer in charge of Nateete Police Station, Mr Muhammed Byansi, confirmed the attack on pupils was done by members of this association, he said the police had orders not to arrest any of them.
The police are always accused of being a partisan Force that targets only Opposition politicians and to disrupt their activities while looking the other way when criminals wreak havoc on a harmless community under their watch.
It is high time our security forces operated professionally. All those who were involved in attacking the pupils, their teachers and the security escorts should be immediately arrested and prosecuted. Besides, there is no law that prohibits individuals from wearing a cloth of any material or colour. In fact, even wearing red bandanas is not illegal.