Police today deployed at Katwe market playground to stop embattled Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago from holding a rally there. Police say the rally was blocked because Lukwago and his colleagues didn’t seek permission from the LC1 chairperson of the area.
The police, led by Kampala South Police Commander, Hajji Siraje Bakaleke stormed the playground at around 2pm in the afternoon, the time the rally was supposed to begin. Police patrol vehicles sealed off entrances to the playground and no vehicle was allowed to pass except those from media houses. Police also tried to stop people from accessing the playground.
Bakaleke said the rally was called off because the organizers didn’t get permission from the area chairperson. “I informed them (organisers) that according to the Public Management Bill, they didn’t have permission from the owner.”
He said the area chairperson approached him today morning and informed him of some politicians that were organizing a rally at the playground without his knowledge. Bakaleke claimed that the chairperson told him that the organizers have never approached him to talk about holding a rally.
“The players have told us they already made a program and said if anyone interrupted their activities, things would not go well, we didn’t want blood to be spilled,” said the commander. “We have terror threats that are on and off, we are always on alert, “
“We harmonised and agreed that they need to reorganise themselves, give us a program and secure permission and then the rally can go on.”
When contacted on telephone, Lukwago brushed off Bakaleke’s allegations saying that the play ground was a community place and that they had written a letter to the commander informing him of the rally that was to be held at the play ground.
“We informed all the relevant authorities, Bakaleke had no grounds to stop our rally,” said the lord Mayor. “We will sit and organize another rally.”
This is not the first time Lukwago has been stopped by police. Earlier this month, he was barred from attending Etofaali fundraising drive at Kampala City Council Authority(KCCA) headquarters on grounds that he was not a KCCA technocrat.