Police have condemned the campaign tactics reportedly used by opposition presidential candidates Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine of the National Unity Platform, and FDC’s Patrick Amuriat.
Fred Enanga, the Police spokesperson, in a statement said police defended their actions as being inevitable to restore law and order according to guidelines issued by the Electoral prohibiting all forms of processions and assemblies, to guard against the spread of Covid-19.
“We strongly condemn the tactics used by the two opposition figures Hon. Kyagulanyi Sentamu Robert and Eng. Patrick Oboi Amuriat, since such acts of defiance only bring greater violence such as lawlessness and violence against Law Enforcement Personnel and other Ugandans. It also encourages the spread of the coronavirus,” Enanga said.
“All individual actors and groups that intend to use political processions and unregulated rallies, to show their level of broad public support should stop and instead adopt better campaign strategies in line with the Electoral Commission and Ministry of Health guidelines against Covid-19. We thank all the other Presidential Candidates who complied fully with the Electoral Commission and Ministry of Health guidelines,” he said.
He explained that they had to use force after Amuriat blatantly defied the traffic flow plan agreed upon in which he lead a delegation of over 2000 supporters in total disregard of set SOPs.
“To begin with Hon. Amuriat blatantly defied the traffic flow plan agreed upon from his home in Najjera to Kyambogo. He instead opted to proceed to Najjanankumbi to lead a delegation of over 2000 supporters in total disregard of the Electoral and Health SOPs. He however, was safely transported to Kyambogo.”
After being nominated, Police had to break into Kyagulanyi’s vehicle, violently picked him and bundled into a waiting vehicle and driven to his home amid the firing of tear gas to disperse the presidential candidate’s supporters who had gathered in big numbers.
“After his successful nomination, he had similar plans of holding illegal processions from Kyambogo to Kamwokya NUP Headquarters, which we countered due to its negative impact on the flow of Traffic, Public Safety and Public order. He was forcefully removed from his vehicle, and a fracas ensued in the process of transferring him to the Police Vehicle. He was eventually safely delivered to his home in Magere.”
“We shall continue to attend to all forms of political violence and apply the laws against anyone promoting conflict within the Electoral Laws. And further ensure all Presidential Candidates follow the logical procedures led by the Electoral Commission. Plans have been put in place to effectively address groups that decide to act unlawfully.”
Enanga added that they also arrested 49 who were involved in demonstrations around Kiseka Market, Mini Price, Kisasi, Ntinda, Najjanankumbi and Nakasozi Buddo.
“Our operations have led to the arrest of 49 suspects actively involved in demonstrations around Kiseka Market, Mini Price, Kisasi, Ntinda, Najjanankumbi and Nakasozi Buddo and are in Custody. An unidentified male who attempted to return an exploded teargas canister seriously injured his fingers after it exploded in his hands. In addition 3 security personnel and 4 civilians were injured in the fracas. Two police vehicles were damaged in the process.”