Police Escorts NRM as Opposition Candidates are Tear gassed, Arrested

The Police arresting MP Allan Ssewanyana

Lands minister Beti Olive Namisango Kamya was a beneficiary of the police’s protection as she made a procession in Rubaga North ahead of her nomination as a candidate for the 2021 parliamentary elections.

A police patrol truck led the minister’s procession of supporters clad in yellow t-shirts chanted slogans in her support, the NRM party and President Yoweri Museveni.

Kamya hopes to regain the seat she held in the 8th Parliament (2006 – 2011) then as a member of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC). She will have to beat off a tough challenge from Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) speaker, Abubaker Kawalya who is the National Unity Platform (NUP) candidate for the seat, and incumbent MP, Moses Kasibante who is seeking re-election as an Independent.

SSEWANYANA ARRESTED

At Katwe, Makindye West MP, Allan Aloysius Sewanyana was arrested for staging a procession contrary to the Covid-19 preventive guidelines.  

He was intercepted by the police at about 11:40am and bundled onto a police patrol truck registration number UP 5467 which drove him to Katwe police station.

Police are yet to issue a statement on Sewanyana’s arrest. Nobody including journalists and his lawyers has been allowed to access Sewanyana who is locked up at Katwe police station.  

Earlier on, Police deployed heavily around Sewanyana’s office in Mubaraka zone in Makindye division.

SSEMUJJU TEAR GASSED

Kira Municipality MP, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda was driven by the police back to his home in Kirinnya – Bukasa immediately after he was nominated to contest for the same seat.

Ecstatic supporters of Kira Municipality MP, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda

Thousands of supporters turned up at Ssemujju’s home wearing his campaign T-shirts and overalls chanting his name and FDC slogans. They paralyzed traffic on the busy Jinja road for a while as the MP went to Wakiso district headquarters for nomination.

Police fired tear gas to disperse Ssemujju’s procession in the name of enforcing Covid-19 regulations against large gatherings.

Speaking moments after his nomination, Ssemujju said, there was no way he was going to obey guidelines that seek to sideline the people he represents. He added that because the government insisted on moving ahead with the 2021 elections, they must prepare to deal with them, because they will try as much as possible to have a normal campaign with mass gatherings and processions. 

Ssemujju called upon police to release all his supporters who have been arrested and detained at Kira division police station, Kasangati Police station and at Wakiso police station, because according to him, they have committed no crime. 

“I wonder why they are arresting our people; if the problem is crowds, why don’t they go and throw teargas in markets where thousands are gathered. These fellows are as if they are drunk. I seek this nomination on behalf of the people of Kira and you should allow them to express themselves throughout the process,” Ssemujju said.

ELSEWHERE

NUP spokesperson, Joel Ssenyonyi, NRM’s Margret Zziwa and Kenneth Paul Kakande have been nominated for the Nakawa West MP seat.  They were nominated on Thursday by Fredrick Muwaya Tibakuno, the Kampala District Returning Officer.   

Zziwa said her major focus if elected will be ensuring employment for youth and women.

“I have the experience in leadership and I will use all those connections I have to secure employment for youth and children. We have factories in Nakawa and I will use my leadership to get jobs for my people,” Zziwa said.

Kakande who is contesting as an independent candidate after missing out on the NUP ticket said he wants to revamp the sports glory of Nakawa.

“Nakawa was known for producing the best boxers, footballers and that is what I want to restore. I’ve been winning Nakawa West and that is where my strength is,” Kakande said.

Ssenyonyi said Uganda parliament is full of people who pass laws without considering the common man.

Citing the Over the Top Tax (OTT), Ssenyonyi said it was shocking MPs could pass it and later evade the same by passing a budget on taxpayers’ money to cater for it.

“I want us to be involved in issues that affect us all. There must be voices that cater to the ordinary man. You can’t pass OTT and you later avoid it,” Ssenyonyi said.

Ssenyonyi, Zziwa and Kakande are the biggest contenders. Another candidate in the race is Wilberforce Kyambadde of the FDC.

Additional reporting by URN

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