Teargas in Bweyogere as MP Nganda is arrested

Friday October 19 2012

By Frederic Musisi

Bweyogere town was on Friday rocked by bullets and teargas as anti-riot police prevented Kyadondo East MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda from holding a rally.

Mr Nganda was later arrested at round 2pm and detained at Kira Division police station for attempting to hold an ‘illegal’ rally.

The opposition FDC MP had vowed to hold a rally to address the constituency about what he says is the increasing crime rate in his constituency as well provide updates from an on-going investigation into corruption allegations amongst the area local councilors.

Earlier on in the morning, Mr Nganda had been put under preventive house arrest at his home in Kirinya, a Bweyogerere suburbs, until he was allowed to go for Juma prayers at a nearby mosque.

Mr Nganda says the DPC of Kira visited his home in morning with a letter from the Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander, Andrew Felix Kaweesi, urging him to call off the rally. Mr Kaweesi apparently told him to seek written approval from police, which was subject to him providing a list of all the invited guest, among other requirements.

Police heavily deployed in Bweyogerere, where the rally was scheduled to take place, but that did not stop the outspoken MP.

When Mr Nganda arrived at the venue of the rally he was advised against proceeding from holding the rally, which he ignored.

An altercation between Mr Nganda and police officers ensued, which ended when four officers carried him and bundled him onto a waiting Police pick up, which sped off to the station.

Police then embarked on dispersing the crowd, who started hurling stones at the officers. The police officers responded by firing teargas and rubber bullets at the crowd bringing business in the town to a standstill for about 30 minutes.

This is the second time in less than a month that Mr Nganda is stopped by Police from holding a rally in his constituency. The first incident occurred in Kireka days before the Golden Jubilee on October 9, with police saying at the time that all rallies were banned to keep law and order as the country geared up for the Jubilee celebrations.

Mr Nganda was still in police custody by press time, while all our attempts to get a comment from police were futile.