URN reporters in Masaka, Jinja, Mbale, Hoima, Luwero and Arua have observed unusual deployment of anti-riot police and Uganda People’s Defense Forces-UPDF soldiers patrolling the towns in anticipation of possible protests by opposition supporters.
At least 36 people including leaders and supporters of NUP in Masaka district were arrested on November 18, 2020, shortly after the arrest of their party president and former Presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine while on his campaign trail in Luuka district.
Partick Kintu Kisekulo, the chairperson for Kyotera district says the victims were last night dropped in different trading centers by people driving in security vehicles commonly known as Toyota drones.
At least sixteen people who were known opposition supporters and campaign agents mainly from the sub-county of Kasaali and Kyotera town council went missing before and after the general elections after they were arrested by security personnel.
He says their captors bundled them in a waiting van, inside which they were allegedly injected with unknown fluids before they were dropped inside a filthy detention facility in an unknown place where they met several detainees.
Out of the 14 positions of councilors voted for on Wednesday, the NRM managed to retain only two positions of direct councilor for Lwabenge sub county and the female representative for Lukaya Town council which were won by John Kalema and Irene Mwebe Nanyanzi respectively.
The NUP officials were arrested on Wednesday when they reportedly went to the police at Kwania CPS to seek permission from the District Police Commander Edith Basalirwa to allow them to conduct NUP meetings to mobilize votes for their party president Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine.
Magellan Kazibwe, the lead lawyer who represented the accused persons says, they failed to complete the process of securing the court production warrants, required to order prison authorities to produce the suspect for their eventual release.
Ssebuwufu, alongside three other NUP campaign coordinators; Stanley Kafuko, Lukeman Kampala and Hassan Katumba were on Monday remanded to prisons by Masaka Chief Magistrate the Charles Yeitesi who read to them six charges of assaulting police officers and damaging a police patrol vehicle.
At the burial of Ssenteza on Monday in Kirowooza village, Kalungu District the NUP Secretary-General David Lewis Rubongoya dismissed the security report arguing that it was intended to hide the truth of what happened.
But Jessy Mutagubya and Ephraim Kasozi with other opposition activists in Masaka town have told URN that they are not moved by the removal of the posters, saying they will replace them after President Museveni’s departure from the area.
The latest controversy is pitting the NUP campaigns coordination committees in greater Masaka sub-region led by Florence Namayanja and DP Vice President Fred Mukasa Mbidde, who is now putting Kyagulanyi’s campaign posters alongside his.
Noeline Nabikindu, the NUP party mobilization coordinator in Sembabule town council argues that their political space is being narrowed by security personnel that are continuously disrupting their mobilization activities.
Paul Mukalazi, one of the assistants at Mpuuga’s home, says the security officer broke the main gate to the legislator’s home and forced themselves into the compound. They eventually stormed the house where some of the leaders were planning their campaign meeting.
“The purpose of this letter is to request for your assistance and intervention in this matter as to why the Secretary-General has failed to comply with the Electoral Laws and seek your further guidance in this matter,” the petition reads in part.
In a letter to the Electoral Commission, Rubongoya noted that the party’s Management Committee has rejected Babikola’s decision. According to Rubongoya, the management committee was not convinced by the reasons given by their candidate.