Friday February 17 2017

Seven arrested as police foil NRM youth meeting

YONASA members arguing with Mr Steven Ssemanda,

YONASA members arguing with Mr Steven Ssemanda, the Masaka District criminal investigations officer(R) shortly before the arrest of some of their colleagues. PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER 


At least seven people have been arrested as police in Masaka clashed with members of the Youth for National Salvation (YONASA), a regional pressure group mainly comprised of NRM youth.
The suspects; Faiswal Seruwagi, Kiyemba Baker, Edward Gumisa, Gerald Kabuye, David Kimbugwe, Deo Ssenabulya and Ssenabulya Abubaker were arrested on Friday over allegations of unlawful assembly and inciting violence.
The Southern region police spokesperson, Ms Diana Nandawula said the suspects are being detained at Masaka Central Police Station.
The YONASA members, who claim to be fighting widespread corruption, human rights abuses and bad governance, had converged for a meeting at one of the hotels in Masaka.

Mr Steven Ssemanda, the Masaka District criminal investigations officer, said that police had learnt that Youths had plans of meeting a one Moses Bigirwa of Uganda Young Democrats (UYD), a youth wing in Democratic Party.
“We received information that you are planning to make a political gathering and you even invited Bigirwa yet you never notified us (police),” Mr Ssemanda told the youth before he advised them to call off the meeting.
Mr Ssemanda also advised the hotel manager not to allow the youth hold their meeting at the premises of the hotel to avoid future repercussions.

However, Mr Faiswal Sseruwagi, the Masaka Municipality NRM youth council secretary, said that they had only gathered to discuss issues concerning the youths.
“What is bad to meet as youths? Why are you so concerned about Bigirwa’s presence? Should always inform whenever we meet?” Mr Sseruwagi said.
Mr Sseruwagi neither denied to have organised to meet Bigirwa nor accepted the invitation of Dp’s Bigirwa to address the NRM youth.
When contacted, Mr Bigirwa said that he had set the meeting with the YONASA youth to discuss on different issue which he never disclosed.
The hotel manage, working under influence of police, resolved to send away the youth from the hotel premises.
Security organs in Masaka have on several occasions crushed with the YONASA. Last year police intercepted them as they were planning to go to the State House to meet the president.