Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Citizen’s Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) has advised that campaigns ahead of the 2021 presidential elections be suspended following widespread violence triggered by the arrest of Robert Kyagulanyi on Wednesday.
Kyagulanyi, the National Unity Platform – NUP presidential candidate was arrested in Luuka district for allegedly violating COVID-19 guidelines during his campaign tour.
His arrest led to several protests in several towns across the country including the Kampala where angry youth lit bonfires and demanded for the immediate release of Kyagulanyi.
The act prompted the regular police backed by anti-riot police, military and Local Defence Units- LDUs to fire teargas and live bullets to disperse the protesters leaving several people injured with a few fatalities.
According to police spokesperson Fred Enanga, 3 people have been confirmed dead while 34 others sustained injuries as security officers tried to disperse the protesters.
The Executive Director CCEDU, Charity Ahimbisibwe says the acts of brutality by the security forces will be documented and produced in courts of law.
She says that the best way forward is to suspend campaigns. In a statement released to the press, Ahimbisibwe notes this is the proper course of action if violation of COVID-19 guidelines is punished with death by the security forces.
Some presidential candidates have already suspended campaigns following the violence and continued harassment by the police.
The Alliance for National Transformation candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu suspended his campaigns on Wednesday and so did independent candidate Rt. Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde who have both called for dialogue to have a fair election.