KAMPALA – Recently, a horrific video surfaced on social media showing a mob of boda boda riders beating a man to death. Different narratives have emerged since the incident. SAMUEL MUHINDO retraced the events of that fateful day after interviewing eyewitnesses.
In the mid-morning hours of Sunday, October 17, Bashir Aziz drove past Mengo Club in his Toyota Allex UBK 393D towards Nateete. Little did he know that he would be dead a few minutes later.
He was a South Sudanese national aged 40 residing in one of the gated homes in Mengo around Mengo club approximately 700 meters away from Rubaga hospital main gate.
Towards Lungujja, Bashir’s vehicle was scratched by a boda boda rider. Bashir jumped out of his vehicle to engage the rider.
Bashir is said to have requested for Shs 400,000 from the rider to have his vehicle repaired but the rider informed him that he had only Shs 50,000.
During the back-and-forth negotiations, more boda boda riders came to the scene. Seeing that both parties were not about to reach middle ground, the rowdy riders gave Bashir an ultimatum that if he does not take the Shs 50,000, he would get no compensation. They then encouraged their errant rider to sneak away from the scene without compensating Bashir for the damage.
Tempers flare up
When Bashir saw the rider fleeing from the scene, he jumped back into his car and decided to give chase. In the process, some riders tried to block Bashir’s way.
They placed their motorcycles in front of his car. In the process, he knocked and injured one of the boda boda riders identified as Hakim Magala. Bashir dragged Magala for about 50 metres, a situation that stirred uncontrolled rage from the group of riders following his car.
Bashir later realized he was dragging someone under the car around Lyna Primary School at Lungujja. At that point, he couldn’t drive any further since there was a traffic jam on the road that leads to Nateete. By then, the boda boda mob had caught up with him.
So, he stopped and tried to jump out of the vehicle to run for dear life but the riders clobbered him using anything they laid their hands on till he breathed his last. At the same time, some riders descended upon his car and shattered all the windscreens before fleeing with all the vehicle accessories they could lay their hands on.
BASHIR IN THE EYES OF HIS FRIENDS
Interviewed for this story, a shopkeeper around Mengo identified as Hellen says Bashir had been a good customer who frequented her shop to buy commodities for his family.
Hellen says, “Bashir was a quiet person. He had just bought his car and whenever he came around, he would park his vehicle here by the roadside, buy whatever he needed and then drive home. I did not know Bashir as a violent man. It is sad that he met his death in such a dreadful way that could have been avoided. We shall miss him as a customer,” she said.
Allan, another Lungujja resident who knew Bashir, said the deceased loved his car like a baby. “He could come here and buy his drinks, stay in the car and afterwards drive to his home. He liked chewing Miraa but wasn’t violent. We had never heard that Bashir had assaulted anyone. He was staying with his three children and a maid though we are told that he had other children.”
He added that Bashir had just retired from his United Nations job and could have used part of his retirement package to buy his new car.
On October 24, police spokesperson Fred Enanga said at a news conference that police has so far arrested 14 suspects that are behind the senseless murder of Bashir.