Friday April 29 2011

Muhoozi takes command as chaos spreads across Kampala

An unidentified man taunts security forces during a demonstration near Kisekka Market in Kampala on Friday.

CROSS-SWORDS: An unidentified man taunts security forces during a demonstration near Kisekka Market in Kampala on Friday. PHOTO BY ISAAC KAASAMANI 

Sporadic clashes between security forces and demonstrators that erupted early Friday morning spread across Kampala and its suburbs and gunshots are ringing from different neighbourhoods.

People coming into the city centre for work and or business are fleeing back home as police and military take over streets with armoured vehicles.
First Son Lt. Col. Kainerugaba Muhoozi, the commander of the Special Forces Group, takes command of operations at Kisekka Market in downtown Kampala, one of the bloody scenes.

Plain-clothed as well as uniformed security forces flush out journalists --- and some allege they were assaulted.

One person has reportedly been shot dead through the stomach in Kisekka Market in downtown Kampala and three others injured in Katwe suburb and Old Taxi Park.
The Bwaise, Bweyogerere, Kireka and Ntinda outskirts and sections of Entebbe and Masaka Roads are the most dangerous hotspots.

“I walked about 300 metres from my house but there was a lot of gun fire outside. So I and many others had to come back to our houses,” Don Wanyama, this newspaper’s chief sub editor says of the chaos in Kireka.

He says the road there connecting to Jinja is now cut off and this includes the Kinawataka short-cut. Our journalists on the ground say security forces have blocked them from covering the unfolding bloody scenes.

Passengers are being stoned in taxis as the situation degenerates. Our staff David Tumusiime says he was in a taxi and got hit with a stone hurled by a protestor.

Demonstrators are blocking roads, lighting bonfire and pelting security operatives with stones.

Many traders have hurriedly closed shops and dashed back home, panicking.
“I came to town to do personal business but reaching the City Square, all people are running randomly. I also took off. There is a lot of teargas. It is worse at Kisekka Market,” says Peter Asiimwe.

“I don’t know what is happening and I hate this mess.”