Elegu businessman sets ablaze his own car in protest against police denying him justice

Posted on May 23, 2024
By LTAuthor


A 49-year-old businessman identified as Balidawa Suudi on Tuesday evening shocked residents of Elegu Town Council in Amuru District when he set ablaze his own car registered number UBE 852E, following continuous frustration by the Police.

Balidawa, who is also a driver and mechanic at Elegu Town Council reportedly drove his car, a Toyota Wish to an open field, where he doused its interior with petrol before setting it ablaze.

The incident happened at about 5 pm at Lorikwo East village in Elegu Town Council, a few distance from Elegu Police Station.

In an interview with journalists, Balidawa stated that the action was fueled by what he alleged as targeted discrimination by a police officer for his faith as a Muslim.

According to him, the trouble started for him on May 7 this year when he accidentally hit an old woman with a vehicle from Kanyanya in Kampala on his way to Gulu City.

Balidawa said while he managed to transport the injured woman to Mulago National Referral Hospital for treatment, he never reported the police since he was transporting his daughter to St Mary’s Hospital Lacor for medical treatment.

He however noted that he had met with the injured woman’s son and agreed to return to the hospital later for other arrangements regarding medical expenses.

According to Balidawa, he received a phone call later from a police officer at Kanyanya Police Station who advised him to report the matter to any nearby police station which he heeded and reported to Elegu Police Station on May 9.

He was charged with an offense of a road traffic accident registered under case No: TAR27A/2024 and later bonded but advised to report to Kanyanya Police station the following day.

Balidawa however alleged that while at Kanyanya Police Station, he was rudely treated by the Officer in charge of the station and detained even when he had earlier been given a police bond from Elegu Police Station. 

He alleged that after his release, the police at Elegu Police Station gave an order to him not to drive the vehicle outside Elegu Town Council even when he had already paid for vehicle inspection, a move he says forced him to burn it down.

Balidawa noted that he had already agreed with the family of the injured woman to pay 3 million shillings for medical expenses within 25 days adding that the first payment of one million shillings had already been made.

David Ongom Mudong, the Aswa West River Region Police Spokesperson told the reporters on Wednesday that the police have opened an investigation into Balidawa’s action to ascertain the motives.

He said the Police Fire Brigade personnel responded to the scene but found that fire had already consumed a great portion of the vehicle.

Mudong acknowledged that Balidawa had an active case of a traffic offence at Kanyanya Police Station in Kampala which was still under investigation by the traffic police.

“We want to understand why he burnt down his car since he already had a traffic accident offense in Kanyanya. the suspect could be having other hidden motives,” said Mudong.

Mudong said the suspect would be charged with arson once the investigation is complete.


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