Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Dozens of people protesting the arrest of the National Unity Platform-NUP Presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine have been injured in the Kampala Central Business District.
Hundreds of people took to the streets this afternoon when news spread of Kyagulanyi’s brutal arrest in Luuka district where he was holding his presidential election campaigns.
The leader of Uganda’s youngest political party was picked up by a team of police officers led by Frank Mwesigwa, the Zonal Commander overseeing elections in Busoga and Bukedi regions while addressing a mini-rally at Luuka district headquarters.
His arrest triggered protests among his supporters in Kampala. They lit tyres in the middle of roads at Kisekka Market, Nabugabbo Lane, Nasser Road, Nkrumah, City Square, Bombo Road and Kampala Road.
This prompted the regular police barked by anti-riot police, Military and Local Defence Units- LDUs to fire teargas and live bullet to disperse the protesters. Several people sustained injuries after being shot at by policemen and LDUs moving on police patrol. Bodies of seemingly dead men covered in blood are currently lying on Kampala Road.
The Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander, Moses Kafeero, hastily debriefed his men at Kampala Central Police Station. Police have dispatched more patrol vehicles loaded with armed men, teargas and sticks to deal with the protesters.
In Luuka, Kyagulanyi was taken to Nalufenya police station shortly after his arrest from Luuka district headquarters where he was addressing a mini-campaign rally.
He was picked up by a team of police officers led by Frank Mwesigwa, the Zonal Commander overseeing elections in Busoga and Bukedi regions. According to the Electoral Commission campaign program, Kyagulanyi was meant to campaign in Luuka, Kamuli and Buyende districts.
Prior to his arrest, police used teargas to disperse thousands of Kyagulanyi’s supporters who had converged at the district headquarters. They also arrested two journalists namely; Ashiraf Kasirye from Ghetto TV and Samuel Balikowa who is attached to City FM for allegedly interfering with police duties.
Police officers were also seen battering journalists who were taking photos during Kyagulanyi’s arrest. Kyagulanyi’s supporters attempted to storm Nalufenya police station to protest his arrest only to be dispersed using teargas. Two unidentified NUP supporters were also arrested and detained at Nalufenya police station. Police have sealed off the old bridge and blocked traffic from passing near Nalufenya police station.
Moses Bigirwa, the Kamuli NUP coordinator told journalists that police are yet to reveal the reasons for arresting their candidate. Police are still tightlipped on the circumstances surrounding Kyagulanyi’s arrest.