Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Unspecified number of Forum for Democratic Change-FDC party supporters are in police custody following a scuffle with police that lasted for fours in Kireka in Kira Municipality yesterday.
Trouble started after security blocked a planned FDC party conference at Mandela National Stadium. Heavily armed police and military officers condoned off the stadium and turned away whoever approached the facility.
The angered the FDC party members who decided to match in a procession from Mandela national stadium to their party headquarters in Najanankumbi. Police tried to stop the FDC party members from proceeding with their procession on the busy Kampala-Jinja highway in vain.
The FDC party leaders some of them on foot and vehicles soldiered on attracting crowds, which prompted police to use tear gas and live bullets to stop them. This led to running battles between police and the FDC party members whose numbers kept growing.
To arrest the situation, police tried to arrest the leaders of the procession including Kira Municipality Member of Parliament; Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, who is also the FDC party spokesperson, but he disappeared in thin air. Dr. Kizza Besigye, the former FDC party president continued waving to the crowd from his vehicle.
Police blocked his vehicle with the help of over six police patrol vehicles and tried to tow the car in vain forcing them to bring a breakdown. However, some of the chains used to tow Besigye’s car broke as the crowd cheered the four-time presidential candidate who could come out of the open roof vehicle and wave to them.
Police later managed to force Besigye out of the vehicle and bundled him into a police van, which sped off to unknown location. Police also arrested several other FDC party members and youths that had joined the procession.
Phionah Abaiza, an FDC party member blamed police for breaking up their conference, saying police was fully notified.
As the 2021 electoral year nears, opposition political parties and pressure groups are struggling to lay strategies to confront Museveni. However, police have repeatedly broken their meetings citing failure to comply with the Public Order Management Act. Recently, Besigye and a number of his supporters launched a campaign dubbed ‘Tubalemese’, saying it will help the opposition to achieve their goals.