“Police should know that it is incumbent upon them to serve the citizens with absolute fairness, equity and humility,” hankered National Unity Platform (NUP) spokesperson Mr Joel Ssenyonyi, late Wednesday night outside the disreputable Nalufenya prison, Jinja city, even as his party president, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine spent the night behind bars.
A number of pro-Bobi elements braced the cold-inky night - whetting their ambitions of having their candidate released, just as the moon and stars set over the horizon.
“Events that unfolded on Wednesday are worth everyone’s condemnation irrespective of whether you belong to NUP or not. Ugandans should render ‘themselves a favour’ [mwebereremu],” added Mr Ssenyonyi whose movement is currently enabled by mobility aids having suffered brutality at the hands of security forces less than a month ago.
Bobi’s arrest not only ignited wide-spread protests across the country but also attracted global attention coupled with escalated clamours, especially on social media, for an end to what netizens termed as ‘police brutality.’
“We just saw police brutality in Zimbabwe, as well as Nigeria. Why are we seeing the same from a different country now? It’s disheartening,” tweeted a South African only identified as Memza.
A strong message from a tweep, Render Namanya, “Let’s call for the end of Police brutality in Uganda.”
By Thursday morning, Police could only account for 3 fatalities during the November 18, 2020 pro-Bobi protests, and at least more than 30 people that sustained injuries, both, numbers that a section of the masses say they find disputable.
Mr Kyagulanyi was heard in a video, like the norm has become, advising his supporters to remain calm and peaceful, all as police surrounded him, roughed him and locked him inside an enclosed dark police vehicle cabin.
“Be non-violent. Be non-violent. Be non-violent,” he was heard saying even after police had fully- gained-sole custody of him.
“Resistance against tyranny is not only a right. It is a duty for oppressed people to carry out!” reads a tweet dispatched by Mr Kyagulanyi.
Kawempe North MP aspirant Muhammad Ssegirinya, who was amongst the many that camped within the vicinity of the prison facility where Mr Kyagulanyi was detained all night said they were not going to give up.
“We are going to intensify our energies until our candidate is set free. Thursday, we shall resume from where we ended because we have the people’s support,” Mr Ssegirinya was heard saying.
Several NUP leaders and supporters arrive to this school of thought.
Speaking to the press immediately after his late Wednesday night release in Gulu city, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party president Patrick Amuriat said, “They had wanted me to record a statement which I rejected. I was prepared to be detained in the police cells. I think the Regional Police Commander exercised his sixth sense and found it befitting that I be given bond unconditionally. I won’t give up.”
Presidential candidates ponder
By press time, at least three of the eleven presidential candidates had either suspended or hinted on possibilities of halting their campaigns - seeking the Electoral Commission’s intervention regarding hostility of security forces towards opposition leaning candidates.
“We are going to talk to other people in the opposition to boycott this election,” said presidential aspirant Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde, who also revealed that alike Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) party presidential candidate -Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu, he had suspended his campaigns.
No official communication has been issued by the Justice Simon Byabakama led Electoral Commission in reaction to Wednesday’s nasty events.
Daily Monitorhas learnt that some presidential candidates will soon have a high level meeting to discuss the way forward, indebting some allegiance to former presidential candidate Dr Kiiza Besigye’s appeal for suspension of campaigns.
Security organs maintain position
While appearing on a political show on the state broadcaster last night, Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) spokesperson Brig Flavia Byekwaso warned politicians.
“We have a task to make sure that the laws are not flouted. We have not started to implement during this election. We shall continue to do so. No amount of pressure is going to bar us from doing the right thing,” Brig Byekwaso remarked.
Her counterpart in Police, Mr Fred Enanga was on a separate political show alluding to an earlier warning from the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
“IGP Martin Ochola indicated that we are coming up with tougher measures to start arresting, “Mr Enanga said, adding that, “these are normal operations.”
On November 03, incumbent president and National Resistance Movement (NRM) presidential candidate Mr Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Museveni- warned that his regime had intent to crackdown people, including politicians flouting Covid-19 guidelines.
Mr Kyagulanyi was viciously arrested and detained Wednesday afternoon in Luuka district on grounds that he had flouted Covid-19 restrictions. No charges had been slapped on him by press time.