NBS Television studios turned into a safe haven for MPs, Betty Nambooze Bakireke (Mukono Municipality) and Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda (Kira Municipality) after the police laid siege outside the Kamwokya based television where the legislators had appeared on a political talk show.
The show; NBS Barometer also had Fred Nyanzi, a brother to presidential aspirant Robert Kyagulanyi, Kabula County MP, James Kakooza and former government spy, Charles Rwomushana, ended shortly after midnight on Wednesday, July 29.
Exhausted, Ssemujju dashed to meet his wife who was waiting in the car but as they drove out of the Media Plaza gate, they were welcomed by the police that had barricaded the road.
“It is my wife who alerted me that we had fallen into an ambush. I reversed and went back into NBS,” Ssemujju said.
Back inside, they agreed not to move out and hand themselves over to the police, but, Kakooza and Rwomushana disagreed and drove off.
Kakooza, who enjoys police protection given his role in the 2017 constitutional amendment that scrapped presidential age limits, drove home while Rwomushana got arrested and taken to Kira Road police station.
Meanwhile, Ssemujju, Nambooze and Nyanzi watched the police from the TV’s studio window until they were given camera bags to make their “beddings” inside the studio.
“We slept on the studio carpet until after 5:30 am when they [police] withdrew that we went back home,” Ssemujju said.
Police spokesman, Fred Enanga told The Witness the police were not interested in the MPs but violators of the curfew conditions.
“There was an operation by the territorial ward of Kira Road police on violators of the curfew because many people at night get involved in many things including partying in total disregard of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) as issued by the Ministry of Health,” Enanga said.
“The talk show did not have any issues but there was an operation by the police only that it landed on Rwomushana and was taken in for flouting the conditions of the curfew,” he added.
But Ssemujju disputed Enanga’s claims, wondering why the police would seal off both sides of the road.
“If it was about the curfew, why did they seal off both sides of the road? And how come that other vehicles including boda bodas that were carrying two passengers were passing without anyone stopping them? I was watching from a window, and I think the police owe us an explanation,” Ssemujju said.
The MPs suspect that the siege is part of a government plan to make it difficult for opposition politicians to appear on evening talk shows.