By Frank Kamuntu
Kampala: Following unlimited scuffles between National Unity Platform presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi and Uganda Police Force among other security agencies that have since led to the death of hundreds of innocent Ugandans, Police has released a long statement trashing all claims of participating in politics among other acts, but instead insist they are serving their mandate of keeping law and order.
“We would like to inform the public that the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, gives us the mandate under Act 211 and 212, to protect life and property, to preserve law and order, and prevent and detect crime” reads in part police statement.
In its latest statement, pundits say this could be the ‘last warning’ to Bobi Wine, if he must stay alive and kicking during the campaigns.
Police Statement Reads As Below;
“CONTINUOUS ACTS OF VIOLENT CONFRONTATIONS DURING POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS
We would like to inform the public that the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, gives us the mandate under Act 211 and 212, to protect life and property, to preserve law and order, and prevent and detect crime. Therefore, our role in this election is to maintain law and order and also ensure the safety and security of all stakeholders, especially in light of the fact that we are operating under the Covid-19 environment.
As of today, 2.12.2020, we have entered day 24 of the Political Campaigns, and we continue to witness acts of divergence and defiance by individual actors and political groups, from the guidelines that were issued by the Electoral Commission. For instance, on the 30.11.2020, the NUP Presidential Candidate had his campaigns scheduled in Mukono and Buikwe districts. He arrived in Buikwe at around 11am, and met our task teams at Namagunga, along the Mukono Jinja highway.
He was travelling in a convoy of about 20 vehicles, that had his guards, private security team, media team and supporters. Initially, there was a disagreement for about an hour on the routes to follow, but eventually, it was agreed that the candidate proceeds without making stopovers at trading centres. He was successfully escorted by the security team through Iugazi town, without any serious incidents, up to Kasoga playground, in Lugazi Municipality, where he addressed his rally of about 500 people from around 1pm to 2:30pm. The health SOPs on Covid-19 were not observed by a majority of the supporters.
While being led to the second venue at Sacred Heart Secondary School, Naja trading centre, Naja Sub County, the candidate abandoned plans to hold the and instead escorted him up to Wantoni, in Mukono District, where he was received by the KMP team at around 4:30pm.
However, there were incidents of attacks on police officers, where one PPC Adrabo Thomas, was hit with a stone at the back of his head, inflicting serious injuries on him. The stone came from amidst the rowdy crowd of supporters. The victim fell unconscious on the ground and was rushed to Kawolo Hospítal for treatment.
The following day on the 1.12.2020, he continued with his campaign schedules in Kayunga and Jinja Districts respectively. He arrived at Kayunga at around 10am, and was received by the security team, who informed of him about the designated venue at Bukeka playground, Kayunga Sub-County, Kayunga District. He objected to the venue and instead, maneuvered his way through the village roads up to Kitimbwa town, where he addressed a crowd of his supporters.
The security task team caught up with him and his convoy of about 40 motor vehicles. They reminded him of the campaign venue at Bukeka which they agreed to head to, the candidate, however, made three other stopovers at Nazigo, Kayunga and Kyampisi trading centre, where he met crowds and addressed them.
It was at Kyampisi that his driver stopped in the middle of the road, posing a serious threat to other road users. The candidate defied the police directives for them to move to Bukeka playground, the designated campaign venue. It is at this stage, that Hon.Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, jumped off his motor vehicle and had a heated verbal exchange with the commander of the police patrol car, registration number UP 5492.
In the process, a tear gas canister was hurled from behind the candidate, by a man who has now been identified as Ariho Elba Nobert, who also forms part of his private security detail. The teargas caníster fell on the vehicle right behind the candidate and went off. Several fragments and particles significantly injured a senior police officer, who is part of his security detail from the Electoral Commission, together with a close associate of the candidate, who was injured while trying to place pointed nails on the car tyres to the police patrol pickup, to deflate them. Another group started applying petrol around the fuel tank area of the patrol vehicle, to purposely set it on fire. Our task team had no choice left with them, but to release teargas to diffuse the volatile and dangerous.
The three victims who were injured during the violent fracas were identified as; ASP Kato Wilfred Kubai, who sustained serious injuries above the right eye and left elbow. The second victim, Oyerwot Daniel, a 27year old, and close associate of Hon. Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert, sustained injuries to his left finger, the right side of the chest and the mouth. While the third victim Justine Bukäirwa, a 45-year-old female adult, vendor at Nazigo market sustained injuries to the thigh.
The three were rushed to Nazigo Health Centre II for treatment, however, the two male victims were transferred to Mulago National Referral Hospital, then Rubaga Hospital. We wish them all quick recovery.
The security task teams managed to restore peace and safety and escorted the candidate and his team to Njeru District at around 3:30pm, the candidate was received with his convoy of about 40 vehicles, and taken through the harmonized route by the Electoral Commission Returning Officer, NUP jinja and the Anti-COVID task team, from Njeru to Budondo Primary School in Jinja.
A total of about 400 people were gathered and waiting for him. Surprisingly, after a distance of 1km, the candidate branched off an access road at Ambercoat market, to head to Jinja City, but got a cut off security checkpoint ahead of him. He drove through the checkpoint, almost knocking down a security officer, which prompted them to shoot at his car tyres, thus defeating them.
His mechanics embarked on the car repairs and fixed the car tyre. As a result, the candidate briefly addressed the media and left Jinja for Kampala at around 5:50pm without holding the planned rally, at Budondo Primary School.
We do strongly condemn the campaign strategies and tactics used by NUP, because they are in total breach of the Electoral Commission guidelines, as well as the bail conditions given to him by Iganga Chief Magistrate Court, aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19, during the electoral period. For instance, his continued acts of impunity and lawlessness, on his campaign trail in Mukono where bodabodas riders and motorists drove recklessly, led to an accident, that resulted into the death of Kigozi Robert, a 23-year-old, male adult of Nkulagirire village, Nagojje, Mukono district and Ssempala John, a 22-year-old, male adult of the same village.
The bodies were examined at Kawolo Hospital and the incident is being investigated under Nagalama TAR 109/2020. It is, therefore, not true that they were shot as alleged by the NUP candidate and bloggers. Even in the incidents of Kayunga and Jinja, we want to come out clearly, that there was no death by shooting.
They should stop covering their mistakes by misinforming the public and make them consume FAKE news, which has a danger of inciting violence. Such acts of impunity shall not be tolerated and we shall continue responding appropriately in the face of violence.
We do call upon all participants in the electoral process, including NUP and- FDC, to comply with the guidelines of the Electoral Commission. As we conclude, we urge all Ugandans and visitors to the country to stay calm as we counter all forms of threats and vulnerabilities directed towards, the electoral process.”