National Unity Platform (NUP) president, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Bobi Wine) on Monday surprised security when he unexpectedly marched through Kampala streets as he launched what he calls peaceful protests against the continued detention of his party supporters.
Kyagulanyi and a few of the NUP leaders planned the Monday march in Kampala to test some of the party’s newly elected leaders at both parliamentary and local government levels who are rumoured to have entered into secret dealings with the state.
“For quite a while, we have been wondering who leaks our plans to the state because, not a small thing that we have planned that never leaked to the state. This was to test two things; how far we can succeed with our plans if not so many people are involved, and whether indeed those colleagues work for the state,” a party leader told The Witness.
For some weeks, the social media has been awash with reports that some NUP leaders had secret meetings with senior government officials and agreed to work for the state but from within the NUP.
In his Sunday address which was broadcast through various social media platforms affiliated to the NUP, Kyagulanyi warned party members against circulating the rumours that he said risked tearing the party apart.
Nonetheless, it is mostly those on the list of alleged state agents who were invited for the Monday march.
“It was time to prove whether they’re indeed working for the state because you can’t eat Museveni’s money and get involved in activities he doesn’t like,” the source said.
Derrick Nyeko (Makindye East), Aloysius Mukasa (Lubaga South), Joel Ssenyonyi (Nakawa West), Francis Kabuye (Kassanda South), Denis Ssekabira (Katikamu North), Bashir Kazibwe (Kawempe South), Abdallah Kiwanuka (Mukono North), Muhammad Ssegirinya (Kawempe North) and Betty Ethel Naluyima (Wakiso Woman) were some of the MPs-elect who joined the march.
Besides the leaders, the party also notified a select group of journalists but without any details.
“They invited me for a press conference but on getting there [at the NUP headquarters, Kamwokya], we saw them jump into their cars and set off. We didn’t know where they were going and what they were exactly going to do, we just followed on boda bodas,” a journalist said.
The group marched through Ben Kiwanuka, William, Luwum and Burton streets and connected to Kampala Road where they were intercepted by the police as they approached the Constitution Square.
For about two hours, the politicians remained detained at the Kampala central police station before they were bundled into a police van and taken to Kyagulanyi’s residence in Magere, Wakiso district.
He later posted posted on Facebook saying, “Comrades, Today we held a peaceful protest in Kampala against the abduction, torture and murder of our people. Gen. Museveni must #BringBackOurPeople dead or alive. The right to protest is embedded within our Constitution! A Ugandan who participates in a peaceful demonstration commits no offence.
I am thankful to these elected leaders who joined me in this activity and continue to encourage all Ugandans and other leaders to exercise their God-given right and protest against election theft, murder and injustice! As usual, the cowardly regime arrested all of us from City Square and released us without charge. We shall stop at nothing until Ugandans have their rights and dignity back!”
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