Observer Saves Driver From Mob

A recovery manager at Virgin Markets East Africa yesterday survived being lynched by boda boda cyclists after causing two accidents that left four people injured.

Emmanuel Balya, 42, has The Observer to thank, after he and his wife sought refuge in the newspaper’s premises. Balya, who was travelling with his wife, first knocked a boda boda cyclist who was carrying a passenger at the Mulago playground, before speeding off.

With a swelling army of boda boda cyclists in hot pursuit, Balya knocked another cyclist just outside The Observer offices along Tagore Crescent. Now surrounded, Balya could not drive any further, as the cyclists pulled him out of the car.

“In the second accident, the boda boda cyclist Remy Munguye, 19, was carrying a passenger and a four-year-old pupil of Kitante primary school [and the two] were seriously injured and rushed to Mulago hospital. The cyclist got a deep cut on the head and the child broke her left leg,” said Ben Ayijo, officer in charge of traffic at Kira Road police station.

As the angry mob pounced, Balya took aantage of an open gate as an Observer staffer arrived for the day’s work, and squeezed in for safety. The newspaper company’s operations director, Hassan Badru Zziwa, managed to calm the mob, counselling that killing the suspect would only cause the vigilantes trouble.

Amid accusations of shielding a criminal from punishment, Zziwa pledged to hand over the suspect to the police, which arrived after about half an hour. A visibly shaken Balya told The Observer that he fled the Mulago scene because the cyclists wanted to kill him, and was looking for a nearby police station to report himself.

“They beat me and stole everything I had in my pockets,” Balya said, adding that he was lucky The Observer gate was open at the time of the second accident.

Balya’s vehicle, Reg No UAP 982P, was towed to Kira Road police station, where he was detained.

Source : The Observer

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