KAYONZA- The vice Mayor of Kayonza District, Benoit Sikubwabo, narrowly escaped death after an operation to arrest ‘Kanyanga’, brewers in Kabarondo Sector was botched after it turned violent, forcing him and a police constable to scamper for safety.
The incident took place last Saturday when Sikubwabo led the operation against illegal brews in the area.
However, pandemonium ensued when machete wielding brewers threatened to kill the vice Mayor, a policeman and accompanying journalists.
Sikubwabo, confirmed the incident, disclosing that almost every cell in Kaborondo Sector, was involved in brewing the local gin with the knowledge of grassroots leaders.
“Grassroots leaders have over stretched our leniency and it is time to act accordingly,” he said.
“We had to run for our lives...we couldn’t do otherwise with a single policeman. We must take urgent precautionary measures against these potential criminals.”
The District Mayor, John Mugabo, condemned the incident, noting that the war against illicit alcohol was protracted, and must be fought incisively to avert possible causalities.
He warned that any grassroots leader cited in the brewing trade would face heavy penalties, including dismissal.
“We have warned them time and again. Enough is enough...accomplices [leaders] are not worth what they claim to represent. We shall thus, in accordance with the law, relieve them of their duties and possibly pave way for their prosecution,” Mugabo said.
A resident of Kaborondo, who talked to The New Times on condition of anonymity, said Kanyanga dealers were indeed protected by some village leaders.
He said that it was the kind of immunity they enjoy that gave them the courage to hound the vice mayor.
“Kanyanga brewers are protected by so many people who claim to be fighting them...you know it is a lucrative business that allows brewers to bribe several people,” the resident said.
Police later arrested scores of suspected Kanyanga dealers in the contentious sector.