Violent clashes as Bobi Wine’s supporters block NRM branded vehicles from crossing Mukono

Bobi Wine's supporters in protest following his arrest
A supporter of Bobi Wine carries his poster as they protest against his arrest. COURTESY PHOTO: Badru Katumba/AFP/Getty Images

Mukono, Uganda | URN | Several vehicles branded with the National Resistance Movement [NRM] party colors and posters found a hard time going through Mukono district on Wednesday 18, November 2020 evening.

The occupants were confronted by angry National Unity Platform [NUP] party supporters protesting the arrest of their presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine on Wednesday 18th, morning.

They took to the streets and blocked Kampala-Jinja highway starting from the junction of Kayunga-Mukono-Jinja stretching to Wantoni and Nasuuti trading center respectively.

They barricaded the road with boulders and burning car tires. The protesters demanded the unconditional release of Kyagulanyi from Nalufenya police station in Jinja city where he is locked up.

Our reporter observed a number of small vehicles and trucks making U-turns as others struggled to secure parking space until the situation calms down.

Most of the people who were driving vehicles branded with NRM party colors and posters of NRM candidates were seen fleeing for their dear lives. The protesters also torched government vehicles and also pulled down posters and billboards of NRM candidates and set them ablaze.

One of the billboards that were pulled down belonged to the NRM presidential candidate Yoweri Museveni opposite Collins Hotel. The army and local defence units joined police and managed to disperse the protesters from the highway.

The running battles shifted from the main road to small trading centers such as Ntaawo, Lower Kauga, Kame valley market and Industrial zone until 10 pm.

Two people were shot. One of them identified as Robert, a vendor in the area died on the spot and his body was taken to Mukono general hospital mortuary. Justine Namambo was hit by a stray bullet at Seeta trading center while travelling in a tax from Kampala and is currently admitted at Mukono hospital.

Read Also: Bobi Wine arrest sparks off sporadic protests in Kampala, Masaka, Hoima

Police ordered traders who were still operating to close their business premises and retreat to their homes. Mukono Division Police Commander Abubakar Musiho said the move was intended to keep businesses secure. He also noted that some of the rioters had made it a habit to create commotion and run into shops upon seeing police.

The seemingly exhausted officer confirmed the arrest of several ring leaders of the protest. Jamiru Munaawa, a resident of Mukono district appealed to the government to consider giving an equal platform to all political candidates to avoid such scuffles.

Some of the NRM candidates like Abassi Ssozi, the Mukono Municipality parliamentary candidate said they are depressed with the destruction of their campaign posters by the NUP supporters.