Kitgum, Uganda |URN | Uganda Police Force on Saturday 20th, February 2021 afternoon fired teargas as they attempted to disrupt a procession by Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] party supporters in Kitgum municipality.
Less than a hundred locals joined a procession to welcome FDC party president Patrick Amuriat Oboi and former FDC party presidential candidate Rtd Col Dr Kizza Besigye in Pandwong division before police set in to fire teargas.
Mr Amuriat and Dr. Besigye had arrived in the municipality to grace thanksgiving prayers for the Kitgum Municipality Member of Parliament elect Denis Onekalit Amere at Kitgum public playgrounds.
As locals gathered at Mon bunyu market in Pandwong division to accompany Dr. Besigye, Mr Amuriat, and Amere for a two and half kilometer procession. They were stopped by anti-riot police officers.
The officer in charge of Kitgum central police station Martin Abigaba told the FDC members in the procession that it would attract large followings thereby compromising the COVID-19 guidelines.
But after a heated argument with FDC officials and failing to reach a compromise, police officers fired teargas at the crowds.
For close to 40 minutes, FDC supporters accompanied by Dr. Beisgye, Mr Amuriat, and Mr Amere made processions to the thanksgiving prayer venue as police looked on helplessly.
The thanks-giving prayer was to be presided by Rev Fr. John Mark Oryem, the Parish Priest of Padibe in Lamwo district.
Mr Amere defeated the incumbent Kitgum Municipality legislator and State Minister for Environment Beatrice Anywar in the recent January 14th parliamentary polls. He polled 3,263 votes while Anywar garnered 3,052 votes.