Monday May 5 2014

Police arrest more pro-Mbabazi youth

Police officers lead one of the arrested youth,

Police officers lead one of the arrested youth, to a waiting car in Kampala on Sunday. PHOTO by S OTAGE. 

By Stephen Otage

Police on Sunday, arrested four youths allied to Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and dispersed a meeting they had convened at Makerere Primary School in Bwaise to discuss their preferred NRM candidate to contest for the 2016 presidential polls.

Youths claiming to belong to the NRM Poor Youth Forum Kyadondo, were arrested by police under the command of Mr Julius Caesar Tusingwire, the Wandegeya Police DPC, before the meeting could start.

Those arrested include Mr Mubarak Senteza the group’s vice chairperson, Mr Vincent Kaggwa the coordinator, together with Mr Eric Semakula and Mr Ssekyanzi Jackson, all NRM youth leaders from Kawempe Division.
Police stormed the meeting venue and grabbed placards with pro-Mbabazi messages before arresting the leaders.

“We are tired of Museveni campaigning against term limits and yet he is going around the country dishing out money to endorse him as sole candidate in 2016,” said Mr Richard K. Nkuba the group’s chairperson.

No benefits
He said the youth have not benefited from NRM under President Museveni, thus forcing them to support Mr Mbabazi as the 2016 presidential candidate.
When asked about the matter, the NRM spokesperson Ms Karooro Okurut said: “Ask police why they arrested them (youth). Police working under the law.”
On claims that the part was using tax payers’ money for he campaign, she said: “That is total rubbish. NRM has been contributing Shs150,000, Shs200,000 for over 10 years. So we have our money and the chairman (President Museveni) has been contributing too.”

The youth asked the pro-Museveni camp not to fear if indeed their candidate has support and believes in free and fair elections.
“Police will continue arresting and releasing us but we know we are innocent. Why is it that Museveni does not require permission to hold rallies,” Mr Kaggwa said as he boarded the police pick up.

Mr Tusingwire told Daily Monitor the youths would be interrogated by police for participating in an illegal assembly.
“They did not follow rightful procedures and the materials we have recovered from them show messages which were inciting the public to rally support for Mr Mbabazi,” Mr Tusingwire said.

Past arrest and court battle
Last week, the state dropped corruption and abuse of office charges against two of pro-Mbabazi youth. The DPP said charges against Mr Omodo-Omodo, the NRM youth league national vice chairman northern region, and Mr Adam Luzindana Buyinza, the NRM youth league national vice chairperson, Kampala, had been dropped to give the party a chance to resolve the matter internally.

The duo were alleged to have abused their authority when they fraudulently induced and tricked NRM members to sign a petition seeking to convene a delegates conference to challenge the Kyankwanzi resolution that endorsed Mr Museveni as the NRM sole presidential candidate in the 2016 elections .