Ugandan teargas maker also Makerere University student, Samuel Mugarura, says he has always wanted to become a soldier.
Mugarura, a third year student of Chemistry and Botany at Makerere University, invented an IED tear gas which is less toxic compared to those being used today by the police.
“This teargas is made up of sugar, salt and food colour, among others, that can do not cause health complications like the one being used by the police today,” he told media.
“My dream is to make Uganda a nuclear country just like other countries like South Korea, Russia, among others. So, its high time Ugandans also take a lead in Africa as a nuclear country by supporting my nuclear project.”
Mugarura, who can also make smoke bombs, was instead threatened by police which now calls him a terrorist.
A day after he demonstrated his project to the media, Dr John Wasswa, the head of the Chemistry department, a unit under the College of Natural Science (CONAS) that investigates the structure and reactions of substances of matter, said Mugarura specialises in plant science and he could not claim to make teargas or smoke bombs.
Mugarura’s big dream
The inventor says he has always wanted to be a soldier–“I am not a political activist”.
He told NBS television that the idea of making teargas came after he picked up a canister during a strike.
“During my research, I discovered that some of the ingredients used in this imported teargas are not good. I grew up in the village with no one believing in me. Such has always compelled me to think outside the box.”
He says Uganda spends over Shs15bn on teargas which motivated him to come up with a better product hoping the country can start making its own.”
“Police is scared of what it doesn’t know. Makerere University has not disowned me. It was just one professor. Unfortunate.”
He said if a professor can come out and say this is a bad product, its unfortunate academicians are becoming politicians.
“I have received some threats because of my innovations but I don’t scare easily. I hope government supports me.”
He added: “I want President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to pay attention. North Korea and America have people thinking for their defense. Why can’t we?”
Mugarura’s project will be among the major innovations at Makerere, including the Kiira EV and Kayoola Bus, all electronic cars that were made by students from the College of Engineering, Art, Design and Technology (Cedat), if approved.