Kampala , Uganda- Like they say in Uganda that a cow cries tears when is to be slaughtered but the dog is always happy to eat bones and drink blood, this was witnessed today morning when fire gut a market part of Owno known as park yard in Kampala destroying goods worth millions.
Police battled with looters who wanted to use the incident as an advantage to take the remaining burning items which police say they were risking their lives. The fire that is reported to have started 3.00am burnt almost everything in the market into ashes.
There was a battle between police, gangs of youths who wanted to loot and market vendors who also wanted to rescue some of their goods. Police used tear gas and gun shots to disperse crowds but failed until military police was called to control the situation. By press time, tear gas had filed the air , people near the scene were moving while their hands lifted up to show that they were harmless and all roads leading to downtown were closed; TV and radio stations in the capital were heard advising people to remain in their homes until the situation is calm.
By mid day the situation was under control and people were allowed to enter the burnt market.
The market place was empty by then, as if there was no any stall that was built there. What you could only see on the ground was ashes and smoke coming of out it. Youths were seen in the drainage systems collecting scrap metals and others fighting over some remaining clothes in rags that fire had destroyed.
The market vendors have blamed police for failing to control fire and leaving their commodities to get destroyed but police has defended its self by saying the place was too congested for them. Many market vendors who reached the scene when the fire has just started say they saw fire burning their goods and they had chances to rescue some but they were not allowed by police.
The team of government officials that included, minister of defense, Inspector general of police , and assistant Inspector general of police Felix Kawesa visited the scene and promised traders that president Museveni has given them 1 billion Uganda shillings that will renovate the market. This is the third time the market has been burn by fire, it got burnt in 2009 , 2011 and now 2013 but since then there has no clear report that show the major cause of fire that burnt the same market in 3 years.
For the last two fire incidents , governments, banks and individuals have been there to donate to there victims but this time round it is not yet clear whether they will be helped.
Many people who talked to this media say the fire seems to have been always intended, it’s like there is some group of evil people who set fire on this market.