Kasese, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Plain-clothed security operatives have raided the offices of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) political party in Kasese town.
According to Kasese FDC district chairperson Saulo Maathe, the security officers, about 30 of them, raided the party offices along Alexander Street and started ransacking the premises.
Maathe says the security personnel without identifying themselves started searching the offices and scattered the items therein. He said it was after they saw them in possession of firearms especially pistols that they realised they were security operatives.
He says the security officials confiscated and took with them a series of documents from the office including petition forms to the ICC, party’s minutes for the different meetings, his National Identity Card and his phone.
Maathe says they are yet to get information from the office the regional police commander to explain why the party’s offices were invaded. He says the invasion is an indicator of a continued shrinking space for political parties to execute their duties.
Kasese district FDC chairperson Geoffrey Sibendire Bigogo condemned the raid and said it is a suffocation of the development of multi-party democracy in the country.
Bigogo argued that the best thing the security would have done if they needed any documents from the FDC would have been to secure a search warrant from court so that they get legal access to the party premises and subsequently all party documents in the office.
The district boss said the raid implies that the security agencies want to intimidate FDC supporters ahead of the 2021 general election. He, however, said the party will remain strong and committed to the cause for better governance within the country.
He also added that the ruling government could be scared of the petition recently launched by the former FDC party president Dr Kizza Besigye’s Peoples Government.
The Peoples Government is in a campaign to solicit for two million signatures from citizens so as to back their petition to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to have President Yoweri Museveni prosecuted for what they call crimes against humanity.
The raid on the office of the FDC in Kasese comes barely two days after the FDC party headquarters at Najjanankumbi were broken into, stealing a number of items including computers and printers.
Last week, the security operatives also raided the officials of the home of Kalyatha Bwambale, a renowned FDC supporter in Kisolholho village of Kitholhu Sub County in Kasese.
Rwenzori East Regional Police Commander Vincent Twesige confirmed the raid but declined to comment on the matter.