Kampala, Uganda | URN | Police have declined to grant the National Unity Platform [NUP] party presidential candidate Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine permission to campaign in Kitgum Municipality.
Bobi Wine’s agents had booked Christ the King playgrounds for their campaigns and informed security as required.
He was scheduled to campaign in Kitgum Municipality before heading to Pader town council in line with the Electoral Commission campaign schedule. However, on Wednesday 11th morning, heavily armed police officers sealed off Christ the King playgrounds to the public and stopped NUP party members from conducting any activity on the grounds.
Rev Fr. Stephen Raphael Kilama, the Curate Christ the King parish also later stopped NUP from using the facility saying he had been informed by security that the venue is unsuitable for campaigns.
He however said they had permitted NUP agents to use the playground on request.
Tommy Eyaku, the Kitgum District Police Commander acting on orders of the Resident District Commissioner also attempted to block Kyagulanyi who had spent a night at Acaki lodge from heading to the municipality. Eyaku noted that Kitgum district is a hotspot for COVID-19 arguing that any meeting that attracts more than the recommended 200 people would be a health risk.
The police were however outnumbered and overpowered by Kyagulanyi’s entourage. As Kyagulanyi accompanied by his team drove to the central business center, hundreds of locals gathered by the roadside to cheer him while some joined the procession. For an hour, normal business and traffic came to a standstill in Kitgum Municipality.
Police looked on helplessly as Kyagulanyi’s procession attracted thousands of people. Kyagulanyi used the opportunity to re-echo his promise to uplift the education standard and the health sector, improve salaries for police officers and the army.
“We are in a mission to freedom. It’s a new generation and a new revolution. We want to change the police, we want better education, the police deserve better and we don’t want our women to die while giving life to young ones,” Kyagulanyi told the crowds.
Police later escorted Kyagulanyi’s team out of the town before teargassing the mammoth crowds that had accompanied him at Corner Alango in Pandwong Division. William Komakech, the Kitgum Resident District Commissioner says Kyagulanyi deviated from their earlier request to use Acaki lodge instead of Christ the King playground.
He faulted Kyagulanyi for defying the COVID-19 guidelines by holding a procession in the busy municipality, putting the lives of many people at risk.
Kyagulanyi is expected to also hold a campaign rally at the main bus park of Pader district this afternoon.