Luweero, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Police has blocked the National Unity Platform Presidential candidate from holding rallies within major town councils in the Greater Luweero districts.
According to Electoral Commission campaign programme, NUP Presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu is expected to campaign in Nakasongola, Luwero and Nakaseke districts on Saturday.
Preparations are already underway in the districts to welcome him.
Brenda Nabukenya, the NUP Coordinator for Luweero district reveals that they had planned to organize rallies within playgrounds located in major towns but Police has since blocked the move.
Nabukenya explains that in Luweero town, they had organized a rally at Luweero Boys Primary school, but police refused and instead directed them to shift to Ngogoro playground which is in Butuntumula sub county.
Police has arrested and blocked NUP supporters from holding drives calling people to attend the rally tomorrow.
Ivan Kyeyune, the NUP candidate for Nakasongola county says that Kyagulanyi has also been blocked from addressing people at Nakasongola RC Primary school in the town council and shifted to grounds which act as a cattle market located at Lwamutoogo village in Wabinyonyi sub county, a sparsely populated area.
Kyeyune adds that several residents have been intimidated not to attend the rally but they are determined to be there.
Kyeyune adds that the move is intended to ensure that Kyagulanyi doesn’t make inroads in what is considered as NRM strongholds.
Security officials deployed prisoners on Wednesday to clear the grounds for Kyagulanyi.
Another planned rally in Migyera town was called off after Police advised organisers to hold in Lwabyata sub county which is sparsely populated.
In Nakaseke ,Kyagulanyi directed to campaign at Kamuli playground rather than in Kiwoko town council . Other expected rallies in Semuto and Kapeeka towns also blocked.
Kyagulanyi is expected to campaign for only three hours in each district and directed to stick to only the listed venues.
Procession through villages also blocked. There already indication that roads heading to venues will be restricted to stop of influx of supporters there.
Tension is mounting in the town councils and several business owners have indicated that they won’t open over fears that there could be clashes between supporters and Policemen for blocking Kyagulanyi to access them.
Paul Mukungu the LC 3 Chairman of Luweero town has faulted Police for creating unnecessary panic among the public. He pleaded with Police not to fire teargas in towns because it was not necessary.
Isah Ssemwogerere, the Savannah Regional Police Spokesperson advised NUP supporters to respect the guidelines or else they will arrest some of them.
Ssemwogerere says that Policemen and UPDF soldiers are already on ground to keep law and order.
Nakasongola is stronghold for NRM where President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni scored 84.46 % in 2016 elections whereas his main rival Kizza Besigye got only 13.79%.
In Nakaseke, Museveni obtained 76.2% against Kizza Besigye’s 21.2 % of 64557 total votes casted for Presidential polls. In Luweero, Museveni garnered 71,382 votes representing 55.78 percent while Besigye scored 53804 votes representing 41.1 percent.
However, Kyagulanyi is making inroads over unfulfilled pledges of Museveni to the area. NRM officials backed by security officials are already demobilising residents not to attend Kyagulanyi rallies.