Bukomansimbi, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Three National Unity Platform-NUP supporters who were arrested for allegedly insulting President Yoweri Museveni at a campaign rally in Bukomansimbi district have been released on police bond.
The suspects are Alex Ssempijja, Fred Kalanzi and Abdul Ssentamu, who recently defected from the National Resistance Movement- NRM, party.
They were arrested on Friday shortly after addressing the NUP joint campaign rally at Kawoko Playgrounds in Butenga Sub County, which police eventually dispersed with teargas and live bullets.
The suspects according to Sowedi Manisuri, the Bukomansimbi District Police Commander, allegedly insulted President Museveni and the State Minister for Youth and Children Affairs Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi who is also NRM flagbearer for Bukomansimbi Woman MP seat.
The suspects are also facing charges of assault and blocking police officers while they executed their lawful duties.
According to the police statement of offence recorded by Manusuri; the District Police Commander, three police officers including him were injured by stones that were pelted by NUP supporters who attended the campaign rally.
Muhammad Nsubuga, the Greater Masaka Regional Police Commander says they have granted temporary release to the suspects as they continue investigations into the case.
He has also cautioned politicians to desist from using bad language in the campaigns, arguing that police will not hesitate to arrest and cause the prosecution of anybody found using hate speech.
But Fred Kayiira Nyenje, the NUP flag bearer in the race for Bukomansimbi LCV seat says that the police should not persecute opposition politicians in the area.
“We have usually followed the regulations that are given to us, but our concern is that the police keep on changing and most likely to reduce the space of opposition politicians,” he says.
He alleges that suspects were arrested on orders of some NRM leaders in the area who accused them on defecting to the opposition.