Immediately the sun went down, security personnel in Bundibugyo district began enforcing a 7:00 pm curfew, announced by the district’s security committee to curb threats of violence ahead of the NRM party primaries.
The Deputy RDC Umar Muhanguzi issued the directive, calling on the local community to be home by 7:00 pm or else face arrest.
Muhanguzi says that the decision follows reports that some people were threatening to carry out violent attacks against opponents and their supporters.
“People were planning to move at night with pangas; we cannot allow them because we don’t know what their intentions are, we cannot take chances,” Muhanguzi said.
He added that security in the district has been beefed up to contain any forms of violence during the election exercise.
In Kampala, the police have announced that they will work with Local Defence Unit (LDU) personnel to maintain security in the city.
The police leadership in Kampala resolved that division and station commanders should devise means on how they will incorporate sister security agencies including LDUs in their day and night operations.
“Our deployment will start at 5 am and we shall ensure every polling station is secured. Our numbers might not match the number of polling stations. That is why we have been urged to use sister security agencies like LDUs where it will be necessary,” a senior police officer who preferred not to be named said.
Kampala metropolitan that covers Kampala City, Wakiso and Mukono districts has more than 6,000 LDUs. Some are directly attached to police stations while others pitched camps at Sub-county, municipality or division headquarters.
Maj Bilal Katamba, the UPDF First Division spokesperson, said LDUs are ready to work at any time they are called by police. However, Maj Katamba said the police hadn’t requested for reinforcements nor have they received any official guidance on how LDUs will jointly work with the police force to secure NRM primaries.
“When the police call us for support we cannot say that we work only at night. We come in and give support. However, I haven’t received any communication on that but we believe the leadership will give us guidance on that,” Maj Katamba said.
A few weeks ago, LDUs faced immense criticism over brutality unleashed on civilians while enforcing guidelines intended to curtail the spread of COVID19. The orders were issued by President Yoweri Museveni and the Ministry of Health.
Due to public uproar, the LDUs were withdrawn and taken for a refresher course majorly covering crowd control, human rights respect and gun management.