Police are holding
Jimmy Olanya Olenge, an aspirant for the Kitgum municipality parliamentary seat
and 12 others for allegedly holding an illegal assembly.
The suspects were
picked up from Pelican Hotel in Pandwong Division in Kitgum Municipality on Sunday
evening where they were holding a meeting.
District Commissioner, William Komakech, says police acted on a tip off by
residents who complained that the meeting had attracted crowds in their
He says the conveners
of the meeting contravened presidential directives against public gatherings
aimed at containing the spread of Coronavirus-Covid-19.
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Alfred Okwera, the Uganda
People’s Congress-UPC party coordinator for East Acholi Sub Region, says they
acted within the law, adding that the arrest is politically motivated.
He says Olenge, who is eyeing the UPC party ticket, was
locked up in a meeting with a
group of farmers who had sought for his consultancy services.
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Patrick Jimmy Okema the Aswa River Region publicist says investigations into the matter are also underway to ascertain why the suspects convened the meeting past curfew time.
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Kitgum District Police Commander, Tommy Eyaku Tommy, says they will produce the
suspects before court for holding unlawful assembly.
The arrest comes just days after members of the
ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM party members held consultative meetings
in the Municipality sparking criticism of bias against security ahead of the
2021 general elections.
For instance, over the weekend, Beatrice Anywar,
the incumbent Kitgum municipality legislator met more than 40 NRM Party members
in the boardroom of the Resident District Commissioner.
But Komakech says they are not targeting any
one based on their political party ideology but following guidelines issued by
the president and Health Ministry.