The National Unity Platform (NUP) is suing the government over the police’s continued disruption of its presidential flagbearer, Robert Kyagulanyi’s campaign activities.
According to Anthony Wameli, a member of the NUP legal team, the party’s has resolved to sue the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martins Okoth-Ochola, individual police commanders and the Attorney General seeking court orders against the police’s disruptive actions and the protection of Kyagulanyi’s rights as a presidential candidate.
“We realize that the police actions are no longer about enforcing the rules but making sure that the election is not free and fair,” Wameli said.
Kyagulanyi was brutally arrested moments after his nomination as a presidential candidate on November 2 and bundled into a police van that drove him to his residence at Magere in Wakiso district. He has since had altercations with the police that have blocked a number of his campaign meetings in different parts of the country including arresting him from a campaign venue in Luuka district and detention at Nalufenya police station in Jinja for three days.
The resultant riots in various parts of the country led to the loss of at least 50 lives as the police and the army opened gunfire and teargas to quell the riots.
Kyagulanyi has also been blocked from accessing radio stations much as the Electoral Commission (EC) in its guidelines emphasized the use of the broadcast media as opposed to open public rallies as a precaution against the spread of Covid-19.
On November 26, the EC chairman, Justice Simon Byabakama wrote to Ochola asking the police to stop interrupting the candidates.
Ochola has since written back telling Byabakama that the police cannot act on a letter that does not give the necessary particulars of the disruptions.
“Neither the candidates’ names nor the dates, locations and other necessary particulars of the alleged disruptions are mentioned in your letter to enable us to respond to the allegations. We shall be in position to make a specific response to the allegations once the particulars are made known to us,” Ochola wrote.
Ochola further indicated that the police would continue to enforce electoral and public health laws and guidelines. He took the blame away from the police and instead accused the opposition of provoking the security agencies.