Time check, 10:15am, presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi’s convoy drives out of Masaka Municipality MP, Mathias Mpuuga’s residence at Soweto, an upscale residential area in Masaka city.
Mpuuga who is also the deputy president (Buganda) of the National Unity Platform (NUP) political party hosted his party president after a day of campaigning in Lyantonde, Rakai and Kyotera districts on Saturday.
For more than an hour, the police had been firing teargas to keep away crowds that followed the presidential candidate from Kitovu Cathedral where he attended an early morning mass.
More than 10 truckloads of armed policemen and soldiers plus two water cannon trucks and the same number of armour personnel carriers (APCs) commonly known as Mamba were on hand to disperse the ecstatic crowd that cheered Kyagulanyi as he headed out to Lwengo and Bukomansimbi districts for his scheduled campaign meetings.
Teargas and coloured water covered Masaka as Kyagulanyi drove through the city’s streets.
At Kyabakuza, police and military trucks had blocked the main Masaka – Mbarara highway to divert Kyagulanyi’s convoy to the Kiwangala route.
There were alterations between the security chiefs and the presidential candidate before the one of the commanders aimed at Ashraf Kasirye, the journalist who was behind the Ghetto TV Facebook live broadcasts from Kyagulanyi’s car.
He was on the car’s rooftop covering the stand-off when a rubber bullet hit on the forehead.
According to medics that attended to him at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital’s casualty ward, the bullet dislocated some bones of the skull causing a fracture above his right eye.
The fracture caused a clot which the medical team at Masaka hospital recommended for an emergency surgery.
Kyagulanyi cancelled his campaign program and jumped into an ambulance that took the journalist to Kampala Hospital.
ALI MIVULE, DANIEL LUTAAYA
After Kasirye was shot, NTV journalists jumped out of their car which they used to rush him to Masaka hospital.
The journalists had to use boda bodas to follow their injured colleague to the hospital.
NTV’s Ali Mivule was hit with a teargas canister in his right thigh.
Mivule narrates that he was capturing footage of a scuffle between police and NUP supporters in Kyabakuza trading center along the Masaka-Mbarara highway when Enoch Abaine, the Masaka Regional Police Commander directly aimed at him and shot him in the leg.
The journalist, who is receiving treatment at Mukwaya General Hospital in Masaka town accuses Abaine of deliberately targeting journalists who were covering Kyagulanyi.
NBS TV colleague, Daniel Lutaaya survived by a whisker after a policeman fired at a boda boda he was travelling on.
He was taken to Masaka hospital with an injured leg.
“There is no doubt that the media has been the influence of this campaign, the media is being targeted because it has invariably, they all see the need for us as a country to move in clear light,” Mpuuga said.
“I want to invite Ugandans to reject this affront on the media, any attempt to muzzle the media, any attempt to make this a dark country where information is hidden and we are not able to see through the actions of the state, ” he added.
Mpuuga announced that they have decided to suspend the campaigns.