Police in Masaka is running battles with supporters of presidential hopeful Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu following reports of his arrest.
The protests commenced shortly after Masaka National Unity Platform (NUP) supporters got information that Mr Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine had been arrested in Luuka district. The protests also come at a time when NUP leaders in Masaka are organizing for Kyagulanyi’s Masaka region tour slated for November 19, 2020.
The protesters started with blocking Nyendo- Masaka road with burning tires in the middle of the road. The protests later spread to Masaka town, and mechanics operating along Grant Street, Mawogola Street and Elgin street, all in Masaka, also started lighting fire in the middle of the road blocking traffic.
People chanting Kyagulanyi songs whilst carrying placards were dispersed by stick wielding security operatives firing teargas and live bullets.
Shops along Elgin Street and other shops in the central business area have been closed as police and the UPDF engage.
Meanwhile, National Unity Platform leaders are still stuck on where to hold a meeting with their party leaders after police blocked their intentions to hold it at Masaka liberation square.
According to the central regional NUP Vice president Mathias Mpuuga, they wanted to host their presidential candidate Kyagulanyi at Masaka liberation square but police is telling them to take the meeting to Kasana playground in Nyendo over unknown reasons.
“We are yet to resolve the contradictions and communicate to the country but we are still insisting that we are supposed to have the meeting at Liberation square” he added.
Nsubuga Muhamad Masaka regional police spokesperson has condemned the protester's actions saying that setting fire in the middle of the roads disrupted road users. He says police, working with its sister security agencies managed to combat the fire and restore calm.
“We have arrested several gang leaders of the protests and we are screening them so that they can be taken to courts of law to faces several charges of insulting violence” he added.
Protests broke out in several parts of the country Wednesday afternoon, after Kyagulanyi was arrested in Luuka district for reportedly defying EC guidelines to control the spread of the coronavirus.