Monday April 18 2011

WALK TO WORK CAMPAIGN DAY 3: Live updates

Dr. Olara Otunnu  aboard a police vehicle to Jinja Road Police station.

Dr. Olara Otunnu aboard a police vehicle to Jinja Road Police station. PHOTO BY JOSEPH KIGGUNDU 

18:02 EAT: There was drama at City Hall Court in Kampala after the Democratic Party president General Norbert Mao and six others voluntarily refused to apply for bail and they were accordingly remanded to Luzira prison till May 2.

15:20 EAT: For the second time in two weeks, Dr Kizza Besigye was granted bail by a Kasanagti court at slightly after 3.20 p.m. He was charged with inciting violence and rioting after proclamation. Kasangati court’s principal grade one magistrate James Ereemye overruled the State’s opposition to the bail application which was made on the ground that the accused had purportedly contravened the bail conditions granted by the same court last week. Mr Ereemye ruled that since Dr Besigye denied the allegations in the first instance, the opposition to his bail application cannot stand.

Military police have taken over the Gayaza-Kasangati road, chasing away whoever is by the wayside. Upon being bailed, the opposition leader told journalists that he will again set out on Thursday as the walk-to-work campaign enters its third week.

13:58 EAT: Police in Jinja town has had to put out several small fires reportedly started by stranded early morning crowds that were demanding for alternative means of transportation to their workplaces. The fires were lit using old car tires in Namulesa and Mafubira trading centers.Local residents claim they set fire to provoke police to intervene and provide them with transport to Jinja town after waiting for hours in vain. Sources at Jinja Taxi Park told our reporter on condition of anonymity that the drivers of Kamuli stage had convened a special secrete meeting and vowed to show their solidarity to the Walk to Work protest by parking all their vehicles today.

MeanwhileiIn Bugembe town council, rowdy Boda boda cyclists joined by other members of the public had blocked Jinja- Iganga Highway with logs and stones before Police came on the scene. The Anti-riot Police pelted them with teargas canisters and removed the blockade.

11:50 EAT: Military and ordinary police are fighting running battles with Dr Kizza Besigye’s supporters in Kasangati where the Forum for Democratic Change leader has been detained. Journalists are encamped at Kasangati Police Post, afraid of moving out to cover the running battles after one military officer told them that “shooting a journalist by mistake is not a crime,” according to our reporter on the scene, Mr Gerald Bareebe. Mr Bareebe also reports that early indications from police sources in Kasangati are that the police are preparing to prefer charges unrelated to today’s walk-to-work campaign against Dr Besigye.

11:25 EAT: Normalcy is returning to Kireka, a Kampala suburb, after a tense morning that saw several skirmishes between the Police and residents of Kireka. Our reporter in Kireka indicates that the situation became tense after news trickled in of the arrest of Kyadondo North MP elect Ssemujju Nganda. Police and Military Police were immediately depolyed as groups of youth started throwing stones and burning car tyres in the middle of roads. Traffic into Kampala city centre was heavily disrupted and diverted to snake its way behind Namboole Stadium. However our reporter indicates that a state of calm is returning to Kireka as the Police successfull clears debris from the roads. One person , Edwin Mugisha who is a mechanic has been arrested.

11:15 EAT: Hoima District: A group of eight youth including former FDC Candidate for Hoima District Woman MP seat, Asinansi Nyakato and Dan Tumwesigye former FDC Hoima District LCV Candidate have been arrested in Hoima District while attempting to walk to the FDC offices in a show of solidarity with the Walk to Work demonstration. They were arrested at the Hoima hospital gate and are held at Hoima Police Station. There is heavy deployment of police in the area.

11:02 EAT: DP President Norbert Mao and several followers who were intending to take part in the walk to work demonstration have been arrested. Mao and his followers were arrested hardly 100 metres outside the gate of his home in Ntinda by a contingent of police in two trucks. Speaking to our reporter, Mao said that the police claimed that they had reinstated the cases against him for inciting violence, unlawful assembly and disobeying a lawful order by a police officer. He has been arrested with seven others.

10:30 EAT: Kibale District: Reports coming in indicate that FDC Chairman Kibale District  Ayebare Kanyarutoke was arrested at 7:00am on his way to Kagadi town. Kanyarutoke was walking bare foot, he is currently held at Kagadi police station. There is heavy deployment of police in Kagadi town.

9:30 EAT: Jinja town this Monday morning is currently at a standstill as many taxi drivers participate in the walk to work demonstrations called by the Opposition parties in Uganda despite previous assurances by the Jinja tax operators Association chairman Hajji Kalid Muyingo they would not participate in the demonstrations. Many early morning workers have resorted to walking as taxi drivers have parked their vehicles by the roadside leaving many stranded.

By 8 o’clock jinja Tax Park was visibly empty of taxes and stages like Kampala stage, Mbiko stage had no vehicle to transport passengers. “I had not wished to walk to work but now that there are no vehicles, I will”, Kibenge Isaac said while waiting for a tax to go to Nytil textiles in Njeru Town council.

The taxi drivers' action came after about 50 boda boda cyclists initiated the walk to work demonstration rolling their motor bikes with full lights on in protest against the rising fuel prices. Their protest began at around 5am with the meeting point at Total refilling station in the junction of Main street  and Clive road west. By 6 o’clock, security was already tight and the army was deployed in every corner of the town especially at the volatile Kirinya and spire road.The two streets are the strong holds of opposition FDC in Jinja town.

8:30 EAT: UPC President Olara Otuunu has been arrested at Game shopping center Nakawa at about 9:35am.   He has been arrested with Chris Opoka and Badru Wegulo. Otunnu was arrested on the orders of Alphonse Mutabazi the OC Jinja Road Police station.

7:30 EAT: FDC president Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye has today morning been arrested 200 meters away from his home in Kasangati. Besigye who was determined to continue with the walk to work campaign over the rising cost of living in the country was arrested at 6:39am with three other supporters and has been taken to Kasangati Police Station. Tight security has been positioned around the station as a mass of Besigye supporters’ flock the station

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