The Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party has vowed to carry on with its scheduled countrywide celebrations organised to mark 15 years of existence despite police interference.
“This programme will continue. Police intimidation is not going to stop us from achieving our planned activities. If they think they have suppressed us, they are wrong,” Mr Patrick Amuriat, the FDC party president, said.
“Our leaders will be sent out to various districts to preside over the celebrations. We are putting the government and police on notice that our celebrations are going to continue until we cover all districts,” he added.
Police on Monday detained former FDC party president, Dr Kizza Besigye, at Nalufenya Police Station after he was arrested in Jinja Town. Other FDC party leaders including Mr Amuriat were also arrested in Soroti and later released.
Both are accused of holding illegal activities without seeking authorisation from the police force.
Mr Amuriat said out of the 12 districts they had planned to cover in eastern Uganda, celebrations in five districts that included Tororo, Soroti, Jinja, Bukedea, and Busia were interrupted.
Dr Besigye, while responding to his arrest on his Twitter handle, said they were taken out of Nalufenya Police Station and driven under tight security to Kasangati in Wakiso District, his residential area.
“Abusing our Rights will be very costly for the NRM Junta. No turning back. This is 2020, the year Ugandans must do everything to regain their rights, ahead of the next election. Without rights, Ugandans have no vote.
This is our message to FDC’s 15 years,” Dr Besigye said.
“If you obstruct us, we obstruct you; push us, we push you-double, double! That is what happened yesterday and we shall not stop,” he added
Uganda Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said FDC is conducting rallies in open spaces without notifying them.
He said police cleared their first national celebrations last year at Namboole Stadium because they followed the right procedures.
Mr Enanga said if they (FDC) want to continue with their celebrations, they should formally write to police so that they are given security.
“When they go outside in open places to conduct their rallies, like they were trying to do in Jinja and in Soroti districts, it requires that they formally notify us, but they did not. We have been working with them but sometimes they tend to ignore these to drag police in running battles,” Mr Enanga said.