The army and the police have deployed heavily at Soroti Sports Ground, the venue for the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate, Patrick Amuriat Oboi’s presidential campaigns launch.
Amuriat and other FDC executives set off from Kampala before sunrise on Monday, the same time the security forces started deploying designated venue, in addition to foot patrols in and around the city in the east of the country.
Police trucks including armoured personnel carriers commonly known as Mamba, water cannons among others with heavily armed personnel have strategically been deployed to control movements around the area.
Maxwell Ogwal, the East Kyoga Regional Police Commander in the company of Soroti Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Stephen Ekoom, are on ground to command the operation, according to a Uganda Radio Network (URN) reporter in the area.
“They said that Amuriat and the party cannot conduct their activities at the Sports Ground because it will inconvenience patients at Soroti Regional Referral Hospital, which is just opposite to the venue. They also claim that they have received intelligence that some party members have planned to cause chaos in town during the launch,” stated Edward Eninu, the URN Soroti bureau chief.
But Jane Acen, the Soroti district FDC chairperson says the deployment cannot scare them, calling her supporters to show up in big numbers.
Supporters camped at the party’s office in the town, clad in blue overalls and t-shirts, have vowed to confront the security if they interrupt their activities.
Along Mbale Road, about three kilometers from Soroti town, Police has put a roadblock to regulate traffic on the road. Soldiers have also taken over Awoja Police checkpoint which is a border between Soroti and Ngora districts.
In Kumi Municipality, there were preparations to have prayers at St. Paul Catholic Church in Kumi Municipality before proceeding to Soroti. Early morning, FDC supporters in Kumi were seen moving with posters of Amuriat, as they chanted FDC and POA slogans. FDC supporters have filled decorated the road with Amuriat’s campaign posters.
At Fika Salama border between Bukedea and Mbale, Sam Oita Odeke, the FDC flagbearer for Bukedea County MP seat has camped with a team of supporters to welcome Amuriat and the team to Teso Sub Region as they head to Soroti. Our reporter on the ground says there’s a lot of excitement as people wait for Amuriat, who is also the son of Teso.
Oita urges the security personnel to cooperate with the party members since they don’t intend to cause any chaos.
Police in Bukedea dispersed off boda- boda cyclists who attempted to park along the road to wait for Amuriat.