Tear Gas, Live Bullets Rock Busia Town as Vendors Protest Closure of Produce Market

Police have used live bullets and teargas to disperse traders protesting the closure of Busia Produce market. 

On Monday, Captain Chris Mike Okiria, the Busia Resident District Commissioner ordered the temporary closure of the produce market for a week to stop Kenyan traders from accessing it because of the Covid19 restrictions. 

He noted that they had observed those Kenyan traders were accessing the market exposing residents to the risk of contracting Covid-19. 

On Wednesday morning, traders rose up in arms against the closure of the market prompting police to use live bullets and teargas to disperse them.

Namanya Rwatooro, the Operations Commander Field Force Unit-FFU, who led the operation, said they were forced to intervene to disperse the traders for defying presidential directives, which forced the District Covid19 task forces to close the market.

Capt. Chris Mike Okiria, the Busia RDC says they received directives from the Ministry of Trade to keep the market closed. 

Musa Papa, a store operator in the market, said he had failed to understand the police operation because president Museveni allowed produce dealers to continue operating.    

Kasifwa Nalongo, a maize store operator accused police of mistreating them.

David Musenero, the Chairman Busia produce dealers, says they were still in talks with district authorities to allow them to operate.

Benyah Owesigire, a trader from Kabale district, said he had spent five days selling beans but to his dismay police stormed the market and start firing bullets and teargas.   

Aziz Owori, another trader demanded for the president’s intervention to explain the current stalemate.  

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