Chaos ensued this morning as Jinja Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Erick Joseph Sakwa ordered for the switching off of 88.6 Kiira FM that was hosting former Presidential candidate, Dr. Kizza Besigye.
A few minutes to the commencement of Akwatulira Program that runs every Saturday from 10:00am to midday, the station manager, Ivan Munyirwa received unanimous phone calls threatening him not to allow Besigye into the studios.
“But I could not stop Besigye from appearing on the show because he was not breaking any law and of course the show host, Trevor Solomon Baleke is a state agent working with the ruling party,” Munyirwa was heard saying to the press moments after the switching off of the radio.
The show was cut short only after 52 minutes of discussion in which Besigye was sensitizing Ugandan on what entail transition.
As Besigye was responding to a rain of questions from the NRM administrator who also doubles as the Akwatulira host, police stormed the station. They cordoned off the entire City Hotel where Kiira FM is housed and enter d into the studios to arrest Besigye and his entire team.
The former presidential candidate had been accompanied by the FDC president, Patrick Oboi Amuriat, former Jinja West MP candidate, Paul Kawanguzi, Jinja East MP hopeful, Emmanuel Wansalala and Josephine Nambooze a renowned FDC mobiliser.
Police had earlier put a roadblock at the new Nile bridge with intentions of intercepting Besigye from crossing to Jinja. They were only shocked to hear Besigye on Radio.
On arrival at the radio station, police hurled teargas in the studios and City Hotel where the radio station is based to disperse angry FDC supporters.
But as police pulled out Besigye, the group of his supporters grew and over powers the officers whose teargas couldn’t stop them from saving their ‘president’.
The supporters who were putting on black T-shirts with inscriptions of “The People’s Government” confronted the armed police and grabbed Besigye from them, led him to his car and made a human shield around it in his protection.
After like thirty minutes of a scene of tear gas and scare bullets, the Besigye car was then attached to the Tow truck and attempted to take it to Jinja CPS.
However, along the way, Dr. Besigye’s driver, Fred Kato took one direction and the Tow truck (break down) another leading to the breaking of the chain.
Besigye and FDC President Patrick Amuriat disappeared from Police and went to party offices in Kirinya Garage, where police was reportedly spectating them by press time.
Business along Kirinya road was at standstill as all spare parts shops and garages were closed to accord Besigye respect.
The fracas occurred a day after Amuriat had just been released from Tororo central police station. He and Dr. Besigye were scheduled to address a rally at Tororo youth Center.
This is not the first radio station to be closed over Besigye, last week Security personnel switched off Hope Radio in Kabale municipality over hosting FDC party leaders.
In July 2015, Jinja Municipality West MP who also doubles as NRM chairman for the district, Moses Balyeku ordered staff at his Baba FM to switch off the radio station which had started to transmit a live talk show where Besigye had gone to feature as a guest.
In November 2009, Besigye was blocked from appearing on Nenah FM in Karamoja to address the public. In May 2007, the Kitgum-based Kitti FM was switched off air 30 minutes after Besigye had started speaking on the radio’s talk-show. The radio’s generator was switched off, reportedly on the orders of the then area RDC.