Bukomansimbi, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Police have broken up a campaign meeting organised by National Unity Platform-NUP parliamentary candidates in Bukomansimbi district.
On Friday evening, NUP candidates for various political positions in Bukomansimbi organized a joint campaign rally at Kawoko playground in Butenga Sub County where they received several defectors from the ruling National Resistance Movement- NRM party.
The NUP candidates led by Bukomansimbi Woman MP, Veronica Nanyondo and Bukomansimbi South parliamentary candidate, Geoffrey Kayemba Solo welcomed the more than ten NRM defectors.
The defectors included among others Alex Ssempijja and Abdul Ssentamu, the Bigasa sub county NRM mobilizers and Diana Nabuuma, the Bukomansimbi District NRM Student’s Association Secretary.
Led by Ssempijja, the team publicly declared their defection to NUP, before hitting at their former NRM, which they accused of condoning corruption.
He also took a swipe at the State Minister for Children Affairs, Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, the Bukomansimbi District NRM Woman parliamentary candidate, saying she is unfit for the position.
However, a team of police officers led by Bukomansimbi District Police Commander, Manisur Sowedi who was listening from a distance didn’t wait for Ssempijja to conclude his speech.
They stormed the campaign venue to pick him up leading to bitter altercations with NUP supporters at the rally.
The charged NUP supporters attempted to block the arrest of the defectors prompting police to fire teargas and live bullets in the air to disperse them before roughing up Alex Ssempijja and Abdul Ssentamu.
Veronica Nanyondo, the Bukomansimbi Woman MP described police actions of dispersing their rally as political persecution by their opponents who intend to instil fear among their supporters. She argued that they notified Police of their meeting and received clearance.
Fred Kayiira Nyenje, the Bukomansimbi NUP candidate for the LC V Chairperson’s seat blamed police for accepting to advance political biases by some candidates who are interested in suffocating alternative voices.
He is afraid that police will continue to narrow down the political space for opposition political parties in favour of the NRM.
Manisur Sowedi, the Bukomansimbi District Police Commander who led the operation to break up the NUP rally declined to comment on the matter.