Two injured, 5 detained as police disperse NUP meeting in western Uganda 

NUP chairman for mobilization Fred Nyanzi Sentamu lies on the ground after he was injured in the scuffle as police and sister agencies dispersed a meeting organized by party leaders and coordinators in Kyenjojo District. PHOTO/ COURTESY 

What you need to know:

  • The suspects were detained at Kyenjojo Central Police Station
  • The party officials had planned to launch their mobilization campaign dubbed Kunga in the district.

Police in Kyenjojo District in western Uganda have detained five members of the opposition National Unity Platform (NUP), accusing them of holding an illegal assembly.
They were arrested Thursday as police dispersed a meeting attended by some party leaders, coordinators and mobilisers in for Tooro Sub-region at Twilight cottages in Kyenjojo town council.
The party officials had planned to launch their mobilization campaign dubbed Kunga in the district.

Police said they had preferred charges of participating in an illegal assembly and inciting violence against Ephraim Gumisiriza, Juliet Nabayaga, Clash Kiwalabye, George William Sekanjago and Asiimwe Ndijuna.

“The meeting was organized by Ndijuna and Sekanjako who had invited guests, including NUP secretary general Lewis Rubongoya, the deputy president of NUP Jolly Mugisha, party chairman for mobilization Fred Nyanzi Sentamu and the deputy spokesperson Alex Waiswa Mufumbiro,” Rwenzori west police spokesperson, Mr Vincent Twesige said.
According to him, the suspects were detained at Kyenjojo Central Police Station.
Police said NUP members did not notify them about the meeting as required by the Public Order Management Act and therefore it was illegal. 
“All those who intend to organize any assembly or demonstration need to notify police and their notice should indicate the date, time, location, size of venue, purpose of meeting and other basic information which is justified, to ensure the smooth conduct of the assembly,” Mr Twesige added.

 “We shall therefore, continue using our powers and discretion in policing unlawful assemblies. The joint security agencies have been tasked to remain vigilant and work with political actors who keep their activities within the law. And in addition, use lawful and reasonable methods to disperse and disrupt unlawful assemblies,” he said. 
Mr Nyanzi and another party supporter, Ibrahim Musinguzi were injured in the scuffle that both the party principal, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine and the Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LoP) Mr Mathias Mpuuga, have condemned. 

“Today, the cowardly regime yet again launched a violent attack on our leaders in Western Uganda! The police and military attacked our leaders as they went to induct and launch our Mobilisation Teams for Tooro Sub-region in Kyenjojo District. Yesterday, the meeting in Mbarara had to be done secretly and the police only got to know after it had ended. The military and police commandeered by the DPC and RDC violently attacked them and arrested several of them. .... We condemn this criminality in the strongest terms. I can assure Museveni and his criminal gangs that they will have to pay for each of these crimes against humanity!” Mr Kyagulanyi tweeted on Thursday evening.
In his remarks, Mr Mpuuga took a swipe at the country’s Attorney General who has reportedly been praising the government’s human rights record as good.

“Without a doubt, the regime's Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka will describe this as a great display of respect for human dignity and rights!! So, it's only the dictator's son who's supposed to mobilise but not registered political parties!!” Mr Mpuuga wondered. 
The team leader for the party’s Tooro sub region coordinators, Mr Innocent Natukunda said police and sister agencies have been trying to frustrating their meetings for days.

“We had a meeting of NUP mobilization and coordinators on Thursday in Kyenjojo at Twilight Gardens. Police interrupted it and asked everyone to leave saying we did not seek clearance. We chose to reduce the numbers and have it at our party office. Still police surrounded us. We I and three leaders went to the RDC to discuss under which law they were stopping us from meeting at our own office they asked us to make it official and probably ask for another date,” he said.