Police, army barricades welcome Gen Muntu to Hoima
Police has barricaded a section of Hoima Main Street ahead of a planned rally by Gen Mugisha Muntu in Hoima City this evening.
The Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) Presidential candidate had planned to hold his rally at Hoima Boma ground this evening.
The ground is adjacent to Hoima Central Police station.
Mr Jackson Wabyoona, the ATN western Regional Coordinator said the party had announced on local radio stations that Gen Muntu’s rally would be held at Hoima Boma ground after notifying Hoima City authorities.
“We had contacted the town clerk seeking authorization to hold the rally at Boma. He said they had no problem hosting us as long as police clears us. We were shocked when the District Police commander told us that we are not allowed to hold a rally near a police station,” Mr Wabyoona said.
Inside Hoima Boma ground, UPDF soldiers have erected their tents and they have blocked entrance and exit roads to the venue. The entrance routes are manned by armed policemen and soldiers.
Wabyoona said ANT had booked at Kigorobya Muslim Primary school as a venue for Gen Muntu’s other rally in Kigorobya county but police blocked Muntu’s advance mobilization team led by Ms Winnie Kiiza from accessing the venue on grounds that it’s too close to Kigorobya Police post.
Ms Kiiza told the Daily Monitor that police had instructed them to abruptly change their venue from Kigorobya Muslim Primary School playground which they had announced to the locals to Kigorobya Church of Uganda that is far from the population.
“We also rejected their proposed venue and opted to come here (at Kitana primary school playground) because this is not very far from the population,” Ms Kiiza said.
The Albertine Regional Police spokesperson, Mr Julius Hakiza said security agencies have made Hoima Boma ground as their temporary tactical base.
Asked why police had barricaded the roads ahead of Muntu’s rally, Hakiza said those are security precautions which police has put in place.
“We have blocked a road that passes infront of our police station because we do not know what some of those people in campaigns are carrying and their intentions. We have advised them to use other routes,” Mr Hakiza said.
He said in the recent riots in Kampala, opposition groups targeted police officers and attacked some law enforcers who were executing their duties.
“We are taking precautions because of recent, opposition guys have been targeting us. Didn’t you see them attacking some police officers in Kampala?” Mr Hakiza said.
He said Hoima Boma Ground is too close to Hoima central Police station, Hoima regional referral hospital and schools such as Hoima Public Primary School.
However, Wabyoona said police should not sabotage opposition activities using various pretexts.
“I thought they would be more comfortable with us holding a rally near Police so that they regulate our gathering and give us better protection,” Wabyoona said.
Gen Muntu is traversing Bunyoro sub region canvassing for support ahead of the 2021 presidential elections. He has today addressed rallies in Wairagaza trading centre in Kyangwali subcounty and Kiziranfumbi town council in Kikuube district.