KAMPALA- Normal operations in the city were yesterday interrupted for the better part of the day as the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) flag bearer, Dr Kizza Besigye, led a long procession of supporters. Dr Besigye had just been nominated as presidential candidate in the 2016 general election.
As Dr Besigye travelled from Namboole stadium, where the Electoral Commission set up base, to Nakivubo stadium where he held his post-nomination rally, traffic came to a standstill in most parts of the city suburbs.
Supporters and onlookers abandoned work and lined up the streets to greet the three-time presidential contestant while others joined his procession. Crowds began gathering in the morning at FDC headquarters in Najjanankumbi and swelled as Besigye left for Namboole and drew close to the city.
In the morning, at Spear Motors junction in Nakawa, traffic police led by the Kampala metropolitan traffic police boss Norman Musinga attempted to stop Dr Besigye’s supporters from crossing towards Namboole in vain. The barricade that the police had erected was broken by the enthusiastic FDC supporters that chanted party slogan, ‘One Uganda, One people’ and sung praises for their flag bearer.
Dr Besigye stood high in his open roof Land Cruiser flashing the traditional FDC ‘V’ symbol. Supporters acknowledged his gesture wherever he passed.
At Banda near Kyambogo University, Dr Besigye who looked rather exhausted received a donation of a couch from one of the carpentry workshops. His eager fans fastened the chair on top of his vehicle where he occasionally sat and waved to supporters dressed in blue T-shirts and some of whom had painted blue their beards and faces.
It took about five hours for Dr Besigye to arrive at Nakivubo. He made several stopovers as the long convoys snaked into the city. At the Jinja Road traffic lights, heavy police deployment diverted Dr Besigye’s procession from accessing the city centre. However, there were no incidents as the convoy complied and drove through Mukwano Road.
Bystanders and people in vehicles with their smart phones recorded videos and took pictures of the procession.
The jovial FDC leader collected money in different denominations from his eager fans as his aide, Mr Francis Mwijukye, stuffed it in a green polythene bag.
At Nakivubo, Dr Besigye was greeted by thousands of supporters who blew vuvuzelas, whistles and sounded other objects that could produce sound. They were entertained by several musicians, including Mathias Walukaga who sang his hit, Abantu Bakoowu (people are fed up).