Police in Kampala have fired teargas to disperse Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate Kizza Besigye.
Dr Besigye was scheduled to address a rally at Makerere University. However, police deployed heavily ahead of his planned rally.
Earlier in the day, Dr Besigye was arrested and later driven back to his home in Kasangati. Upon his release, Dr Besigye said he would proceed with his campaign program as planned.
The deployment comes just minutes after police said they neither arrested nor detained Dr Besigye .
While addressing journalists in Kampala Monday, the Kampala police spokesperson, Mr Fred Enanga, said that Dr Besigye was only restrained from disrupting business in the Central Business District.
“AIGP Abas Byakagaba advised him to use an alternative route but he refused. He wanted to pass through the Central Business District. We didn’t agree with him. So our anti-riot police officers had to disperse the rowdy crowds,” Mr Enanga said.
“So we gave him time to go back home and prepare as to move on with his programmes with the guidance of police,” Mr Fred Enanga said.
Dr Besigye was blocked as he tried to access the Kampala Central Business District through Kampala - Jinja Road.
Mr Semujju Nganda, the FDC spokesperson told Daily Monitor earlier in the day that Dr Besigye had been arrested as he proceeded for scheduled rallies in the Central Business District.
“Museveni has declared all public places in Kampala Central no-go areas for Opposition. We wanted to have a rally at Nakivubo Stadium but police blocked us. This has left us with no choice but to address voters on the streets and roads,” he said.
Before his arrest, police led by AIGP Abas Byakagaba, the Kampala Metropolitan Police commander and Kampala Central Police Station DPC Aaron Baguma, blocked Dr Besigye suggesting that he uses Mukwano Road to access the city.
Dr Besigye together with his supporters was later teargased as they tried to force their way to Nasser Road.
He was then taken to Kampala Central Police Station and later driven to Kira Road police station, before being escorted to his home on the far flanges of Wakiso District in Kasangati.
However, minutes later he left in a jam packed procession for a scheduled rally at Makerere University.
He also has a planned rally in lower Kampala at Kisskka Market on Kafumbe Mukasa Road, one of his strongholds.
According to the Electoral Commission campaign schedule, Dr Besigye has planned rallies in parts of Central Kampala, including Makerere University, Kisekka Market and Nakivubo Stadium. However, the Nakivubo Stadium rally, according to Mr Semujju has been blocked by police.
Police chief Gen Kale Kayuhura over the weekends warned Besigye against addressing campaigh rallies at night but defended the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) presidential candidate Yoweri Museveni over the same.
Gen Kale Kayihura said Dr Besigye has been adamant to police calls to respect Electoral Commission regulations concerning campaigning outside accepted campaign time of 6 pm.
“We have told Dr Besigye to stop, but the man is completely not bothered. I am making this statement on behalf of the security agencies…we aren’t going to allow him to paralyse the streets and highways,” Gen Kayihura said at the weekend.
At his home, Dr Besigye told journalists: “We are doing what we are doing within the law. I appeal to Ugandans to be peaceful and wait for Thursday to vote for change. What the police are trying to do is to intimidate people from voting for change.”
“I appeal to Ugandans not to fear despite intimidation. The police want to create fear among Ugandans to avoid voting. We have to win the fear and the intimidation,” he said.
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