By Frank Kamuntu
Kampala: On Wednesday this week, sister security operatives including police and army raided Uganda’s pro-claimed strongest opposition political party National Unity Platform (NUP) which both police Spokesperson Patrick Enanga and Uganda People’s Defence Force Deputy Spokesperson Deo Akiiki said that the raid and operations in other city shopping centres were aiming at curbing the circulation of the gazetted military attires.
Deo Akiiki explained, “Such behaviour where you find civilians wearing attires that have the same design and colour of the military may make those people start running military groups. It started slowly but it had continued and our operation had to come at any time.”
However, some political pundits have since drawn loopholes in security defensive statements saying there might be an invisible hand from State House using security operatives to weaken booming NUP party with its members ahead of 2021 general elections.
“Everything done against opposition within this political season, it is spearheaded by the ruling government and it is done out of pressure as a result of rising support of Ugandans to political parties,” a political scientist who prefered anonymity lectured.
It should be remembered that the raid came after NUP President Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine who is aspiring to oust President Museveni, had just finished meeting youth leaders who had travelled from various parts of the nation, something pundits say it might have threatened the state and feared the gospel these youth would go back to preach against the government.
“The fact is since the state knew about Kyagulanyi’s meeting, Gov’t was so scared that these youth would go with NUP attires which of course creates more publicity for the party, not only that but also Gov’t feared the gospel these youth would go back to preach to Ugandans, so what was done me I think it was out of pressure and panic,” another political analyst revealed.
Meanwhile, after the raid, in our interaction with NUP officials who were still shocked about the incident, said security didn’t only take uniforms and other campaign materials but also took off with Shs23 million in cash and 7,000,000 signatures the party had gathered to support the nomination of their Presidential flag bearer, Mr Kyagulanyi and other flag bearers something that has since left Ugandans wondering about the army, police motives.
“Security broke into six different offices that of our president inclusive and took away sensitive documents and other key materials of the party. They targeted the party president’s office, electoral commission committee office, the office of the organising secretary, spokesperson, secretary-general and the deputy as well as the treasurer,” a party official said.
However, according to search warrants signed by Assistant Superintendent of Police Jane Imalingat, ASP Bwonanebye, detective Constable Juliet Sajja and detective Assistant Inspector of Police Wamakale did not capture money and the missing signatures among the impounded exhibits.
“We shall have a search certificate when the time of going to court comes. That is when we shall tell who is lying to who,” Mr Enanga said.
Later on, Hon Kyagulanyi himself released a statement condemning police, army for colliding with President Museveni to oppress Ugandans, the statement reads;
After yesterday's raid on our offices, the military & police spent today dismantling all banners & billboards bearing my image from towns. Anyone found selling #PeoplePower merchandise is arrested. The dictator is in total panic. This only increases our resolve to resist! pic.twitter.com/Y2d8TCyc2L
— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine) October 15, 2020
“So yesterday they claimed to have come for military ware even when they stole everything else. After yesterday’s raid, the military and police spent today dismantling all banners and billboards bearing my image from Kampala and neighbouring towns. Anyone found selling People Power merchandise is arrested. The dictator is in total panic. This only increases our resolve to RESIST.”
Our team has just finished assessing what has been stolen in broad daylight. Been informed that most of our forms with signatures for nominations have been taken away! They have also taken 23M ugx part of which was meant to facilitate our MP candidates with nomination fees. pic.twitter.com/87U0Zh5AJT
— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine) October 14, 2020
He added, “They have also taken so many of our branding materials including posters, banners, berets, t-shirts, pens, notebooks, etc. Our CCTV cameras have been vandalised and equipment was taken away. Some comrades have been arrested and most are being held at Kira Road police station. This is a sign that Mr Museveni and his regime are scared of us. This is something that should ideally scare us but the good news is that we are just growing stronger every day. We shall not stop,” Mr Kyagulanyi said.