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Opposition leaders under house arrest ahead of protests

Besigye’s residence

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Police on Thursday morning deployed heavily at the homes of opposition leaders.

On Tuesday, the opposition leaders under their umbrella, the United Forces of Change called for protests on Thursday to expose the poor state of roads in Kampala City.

Some of the leaders whose homes have been cordoned off include Former Presidential Candidate Kiiza Besigye, Kampala Lord Mayor Elias Lukwago, and National Unity Platform-NUP President Robert Kyagulanyi.

Several police patrol pick-up trucks, and military and anti-riot police officers were in the vicinity of all towns on Gayaza Road which leads to Besigye’s home in Kasangati.  At Besigye’s home police blocked the way to his home.

Kyagulanyi took to social media, urging Ugandans to proceed with the demonstration despite the obstacles from the security personnel.

“The cowardly military and police have surrounded our home, but the protest is on. Fix our roads! Free Political Prisoners! Free Uganda!” NUP President Bobi Wine posted on his X handle.

“Barricaded at home by the COWARDS! No turning back; we deserve better. Please do what you can, wherever you’re, with whatever you have, to show the terrible roads affecting you today.” Besigye posted on his X handle.

At Lukwago’s home in Wakaliga, the police blocked him from leaving his house after he told them that he was moving out to monitor the road works being done by the Special Force Command (SFC).

Police blocking Erias Lukwago at his home

Earlier on Wednesday, Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga warned members of the public from engaging in what he described as unlawful assemblies and country-wide political demonstrations.

“The alleged peaceful demonstrations claimed by the perennial actors, have never been peaceful. They do not liaise with the police to ensure the smooth conduct of their public meetings and processions. And have always hijacked the Constitutional right to assemble, to instead engage in violent criminal acts and destruction of public safety, by looting property from roadside shops, disrupting traffic, vandalism of vehicles and buildings, damaging roads, (through burning of tires), pelting police officers and hurling Molotov (petrol bombs), at them, and other violent acts,” reads part of the statement.

Since last year, there has been widespread public discontent regarding the deteriorating state of roads in Kampala. The outcry led to a week-long online exhibition of potholes in Kampala, organized by Dr. Spire Ssentongo on Twitter.
During the exhibition, Ugandans shared pictures of potholes in their localities, aiming to expose the dire state of city roads and prompt action from city authorities and the government.

In response to the public outcry, President Museveni instructed the Ministry of Finance to release 6 billion Shillings immediately for road rehabilitation in the city. However, Lukwago deemed the funds inadequate

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