By Bida Elly David
At least two of street vendors over the weekend were shot by a police officer at Kubri Haboba market in Gudele during a commercial strike leaving one dead and another injured.
The tragedy triggered and generated conflicts of thoughts leaving the market closed and commercial activities paused as well as influx of the deceased relatives to retaliate but was mitigated.
Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper yesterday, James Dak the Deputy Police Spokesperson reiterated that that the two were shot by a police officer who was trying to stand on defensive as one of the rivals tried to forcefully grab a gun from his hands. He said that the officer never intended to kill them rather to scare but unfortunately, one among them died of bleeding.
He revealed that the incident that transpired in Kubri Haboba was due to deaf ears (turned off) by vendors against orders declared earlier by the payam Council warning them from selling commodities along the road and bridge for safety.
“There was a local order by payam council on vendors stating that they should cease selling their commodities along the roads and bridge rather in the shops. It is dangerous because if a vehicle losses balance of the break it will knock them and others down. The committee told them that it was unsafe to sell their goods in the pitch and the bridge was meant for passengers as well as vehicles. It was not allowed for them to place their commodities on the floor. This order has been passed two days ago and they failed to implement it. What they did was the formation of secret committee to convince the merchants to go on strike by closing their shops by not opening aimed at violating the orders that were passed by the payam committee. The merchants refused to adhere the suggestion from the secret committee since there was no problem with the payam order because of the taxes they pay and charged on them’’ he said.
Furthermore James pointed out throwing of stones on the officers and the attempt to grab the gun from one of the officers as factors that triggered the gunshots against the mob.
“While they were there in Kubri Haboba, the mob started throwing stones against the police despite being given orders in a language and dialect but could not hear rather kept stoning to the extent of overpowering them. The situation went to the extent where one of the rivals wanted to grab a gun out of the hands of the police. In the process, the police tried to shoot to scare but unfortunately, the bullet hit one of the guys who happened to be a student’’ he said.
In continuation, James echoed that the incident transpired in the absence of the Mayor as they were busy for a community outreach at Nyakuron West as well as blamed the vendors for not following orders.
“Yesterday (Saturday) the Mayor was with us. We had a community outreach in Nyakuron West with the community youth in regards to the issue of Niggas in relation to drugs with the help of JICA. They said that what brought the issue of the niggas could be alcohol and drugs especially those meant for psychiatric patients. Mayor promised to make a general search and seize any gins in the store because the order has been passed and those at the production industries have stopped with the help of bureau of statistics and the chamber of commerce. The other team of the executive officers went on a tour to see whether their order has been executed with police officers that usually accompany them to control the them in case of anything’’ he echoed.
Finally James said that the situation had calmed and the commercial services resumed after the market had opened despite micro intervention of some people to spoil the whole situation.