A 29-year-old okada rider in Uganda, Hussein Walugembe, has died after setting himself on fire inside a police station where he had gone to demand the release of his impounded bike.
According to the Ugandan press, Walugembe’s motorbike was confiscated in the South-Western district of Masaka, about 134km (83 miles) from the capital, Kampala, on Monday, June 29. As part of the measures to contain the spread of the novel Coronavirus, the Ugandan government banned the use of motorcycles popularly known as Boda bodas, as a means of transportation for humans. They are able to operate between 06:30 and 17:00 local time but must only transport cargo.
According to the police, Mr Walugembe had lent his bike to a friend, who was apprehended while using it to carry a passenger. Walugembe reportedly became frustrated with the police after visiting the station several times to demand its release.
On Thursday, July 2, he visited the station and locked himself in a room before setting himself ablaze using petrol concealed in a water bottle and match sticks. An officer who was with him at the time suffered minor injuries and several files and computers were destroyed.
Commenting on the incident, the regional police spokesperson, Paul Kangave, said it is investigating the allegation that some of its officers were asking for a $40 (£32) bribe to release the bike.