The Uganda Police Force on Tuesday evening released a detailed statement explaining why they had arrested National Unity Platform (NUP) Presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Presidential candidate Patrick Amuriat Oboi.
In the statement, police Spokesperson Fred Enanga noted that both Amuriat and Kyagulanyi defied police.
“To begin with, Amuriat blatantly defied the traffic flow plan agreed upon from his home in Najeera to Kyambogo. He instead opted to proceed to Najjanakumbi to lead a delagation of over 2,000 supporters in total disregard of the Electoral Commission and Health SOPs. He was however safely transported to Kyambogo,” the statement indicated.
For Kyagulanyi, the statement noted that he initially cooperated with the escorting team from Magere but was delayed by the several hold ups along the way due to the many mobilized supporters along his prescribed route.
“After his successful nomination, he had other similar plans of holding illegal processions from Kyambogo to Kamwokya at his 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 delivered to his home in Magere.”
Enanga condemned the politicians but noted that they had arrested 49 suspects, who were actively involved in demonstrations around Kiseka market, Mini-Price and Najjanakumbi among other places.
See full statement below:
We would like to inform the public that the second day of the nomination exercise for Presidential Candidates, for the 2021 General Elections, was partly characterized by several acts of violence.
As you are all aware the Electoral Commission issued very clear guidelines prohibiting all forms of processions and assemblies, to guard against the spread of Covid-19. In defiance of the Electoral Commission guidelines on processions and rallies, both Hon. Kyagulanyi Sentamu Robert and Eng. Patrick Oboi Amuriat were resultantly involved in violent running battles with the Joint Security Teams, following disagreements on their movement plans.
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.
Hon. Kyagulanyi Sentamu, initially cooperated with the escorting team from Magere but was delayed by several hold-ups along the way, due to the many mobilized supporters along his prescribed route.
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 strongly condemn the tactics used by the two opposition figures, 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.
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.
We urge all voters to know that it is their democratic right to support a candidate of their own choice. They should therefore, avoid violent confrontations that could spiral out of control between supporters of rival political factions as well as with the Law Enforcement Agencies.
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. 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.
As we conclude, we are aware several political leaders and activists are using media as a tool for campaigns. They should guard against deliberate acts of misinformation and conspiracies, but instead report objectively, fairly and in a balanced manner.
For instance, the picture of a lady circulating in the social media indicating that she was fatally wounded are false. She is among four victims who were injured during the altercations between NUP supporters and Law Enforcement personnel.
CP Fred Enanga