Police in Kitgum on Saturday fired teargas to disrupt a campaign meeting
for Democratic Party Presidential Candidate Norbert Mao in Kitgum Municipality
that had gone past 6 pm, the stipulated Electoral commission campaign time.
The two-time presidential candidate was in the district for the last round of
his campaigns in East Acholi ahead of Thursday’s presidential and parliamentary
elections. Mao first held campaigns in Madi-Opei
sub-county and Padibe Town Council in Lamwo district and arrived in Kitgum
Municipality at the District Forest Institute-DFI in Pandwong Division for the
main rally at 5 pm.
In his address to the supporters, Mao promised to establish the
National Truth and reconciliation commission to delve into past atrocities,
once elected president.
He noted that the commission will be in charge of investigating atrocities
committed by regime forces in Teso region, Luwero district, West Nile and Acholi
Mao also promised to institute an asset recovery tribunal that specifically
deals with the recovery of stolen government properties across the country. He
says several properties have been fraudulently acquired by big shots in the
For nearly one and a half hours, Mao’s campaign went peacefully as
he convinced the locals in the district to vote him for the much-desired change the country
is yearning for, more than 30 years of being held captive by President Museveni.
There was however commotion at about 6:20 pm when police commanded by the
Officer in Charge of Operations at Kitgum Central Police station Julius
Mpande ordered his men to fire teargas to disperse the crowds.
Mpande said that he had warned Mao’s campaign team against proceeding
with their meeting in violation of the Electoral commission campaign
Mpande says he allocated extra 20 minutes to Mao’s campaign team to wind down
the campaign but they defied and instead wanted to proceed with more speeches
forcing them to fire teargas canisters to disrupt the meeting.
//cue in: “The whole campaign…
Cue out:…stop the meeting.”//
But an infuriated Mao criticized the commanding police officer for using
excessive force in dispersing his peaceful supporters when they were already
concluding the meeting.
//cue in: “An officer of…
Cue out…one to blame.”//
He says Mpande failed to make a proper judgment on any threats posed by the
supporters before opting to fire teargas further tarnishing the name of the
police and government.
in: “you have the…