Two people are receiving treatment at Arua hospital for gunshot wounds sustained during the chaos that marred the launch of Awakening Youth from Poverty, an initiative of the Bryan White Foundation.
City socialite Brian Kirumira alias Bryan White has been in Arua since the beginning of the week, promoting the programme which he says was started to provide funding to youth in order to help them fight poverty.
But queries were raised on the criteria used to select beneficiaries. White, whose source of income remains mysterious, has been giving out cash to individuals he believes are poor.
Yesterday hell broke loose when thousands of people mainly youth who had turned up for an event organised at Boma grounds when they demanded that they are immediately provided with money promised to them by White.
Members of a notorious gang that identifies itself as “Fire Eaters” immediately turned rowdy after their leader was called on to the stage to present their project. Instead, the members demanded for money and started advancing to the podium.
A huge crowd that had been attracted by the launch quickly turned chaotic with some of the youth grabbing the Silk Events equipment.
Police together with the UPDF officers deployed at the scene fired live bullets and tear gas that sent the crowd into more chaos, blocking traffic on all the roads to Kampala and Arua town. The tear gas spread to all the surrounding areas near Arua Hill forcing nearby businesses to close down.
Two boys whose identities could not be readily established were hit during the scuffle. But, the North Western regional police commander Jonathan Musinguzi who commanded the security, however, disassociated himself from the actions of the UPDF officers.
Following the chaos, the big show which was expected to extend up to Sunday morning was immediately brought to an end as some of the rowdy youth resorted to looting equipment.