Robert Kyagulanyi, the National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate has had to evade police barricades to access venues of his campaign meetings in the Karamoja sub-region.
After an eventful day in the Lango sub-region districts of Oyam, Apac and Lira where the police arrested some members of his campaign team in addition to teargassing the crowds that welcomed him, Kyagulanyi travelled overnight to Kaabong where, as expected, he found barricaded roads.
He manoeuvred through to join a group of most youthful supporters who joined the procession chanting “Bobi Wine, new change.”
At the campaign venue in Kaabong Town Council, the police had allowed in about 200 people as per the Ministry of Health guidelines but the locals eventually broke through and joined the campaign rally.
After Kyagulanyi had addressed the rally, police fired teargas to disperse his supporters as he left for Kotido.
The drive to Kotido was not easy either. Police barricaded the road but Kyagulanyi’s driver; musician, Ali Bukenya (Nubian Li) had to veer off the main road to dodge the barricades leading into a chase between the presidential candidate and the police.
For once, Kyagulanyi praised his security detail for blocking advances by the Police in Karamoja on Kyagulanyi. For instance, during the chase in Kotido, the security car that was assigned to him by the Electoral Commission kept the police trucks that were pursuing him at bay.
Frustrated, the local police fired teargas at their colleagues attached to Kyagulanyi and in the process injured one of them in the thigh.
Without a medical person, Kyagulanyi offered first aid to the injured policeman.
In Moroto, three roadblocks were mounted on the road leading to Moroto from Kotido, and all vehicles entering the town were thoroughly checked.
One roadblock was mounted at Katanga, some two kilometres from Moroto town, the second at Naitakwae grounds in Nadunget sub-county and another at Nadunget sub-county headquarters.
There was also heavy police and military deployment in town and around the venue.
The Moroto District Police Commander (DPC) Jude Nasucha said the deployment was normal.
However, some NUP supporters in Moroto are angry with the deployment saying that it is meant to intimidate their candidate.
Muhammad Aya a resident of Nadunget Sub County said that the police allow NUP supporters to celebrate Kyangulanyi’s visit in the area.
“This is intimidation but we are determined. We shall not give up with the struggle,” said Aya.
About 200 people were allowed to access the venue but many more hanged outside the wire mesh fence under heavy military watch.
Additional reporting by URN.