Police and other sister security agencies are still holding the NUP Presidential Candidate Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert alias Bobi Wine and his campaigning team along Ngeta road in Lira District.
Kyagulanyi was Friday afternoon blocked from accessing Alebtong where he was scheduled for a campaigning meeting and has been trapped in the middle of a security ambush since then.
The NUP flag bearer said none of the security operatives was willing to explain to him why he was being blocked. However, a police man whom this website wasn’t able to clearly identify told the media that Mr Kyagulanyi was denied access to the campaign venue because he insisted on passing through Lira town where another candidate the DP’s Nobert Mao was campaigning.
Kyagulanyi earlier in the day tweeted thus; “these hooded, masked and heavily armed counter terrorism officers traveling in police vans UP 7690, UP 7714, UP 7713 are kidnapping some of our team members one by one and driving them off to unknown locations using an Police arrest van [Mobile prison], commonly known as mobile Nalufenya registration number UP 4923.”
He later added, “we are still being held at a roadblock for 7hours now by the police and military along Ngeta road in Lira district. 27 of our team arrested, journalists beaten.”
In the process of trying to capture was was/is taking place, several journalists have been reportedly assaulted. First was BBS’s Ssesanga Batte but later the Daily Monitor reported that two others; Cliff Wamala of NTV and David Tamale of Bukedde TV had also tested the sour wrath of the armed personnel following the standoff that had lasted seven hours by press time.
Although by the time we published this story the Police were yet to issue an official statement concerning the matter, the force has consistently accused Mr Kyagulanyi and other politicians of deliberately failing to observe the EC guidelines regarding the prevention of Covid-19.
Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission on Friday summoned Mr Kyagulanyi and Forum for Democratic Change’s presidential flag bearer, Patrick Oboi Amuriat over continued breach of guidelines against the spread of COVID-19.
In two separate letters dated December 10, 2020, the EC chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama noted that both Kyagulanyi and Amuriat have persistently breached the elections guidelines and the standard operation procedures to control the spread of the Coronavirus.
Justice Byabakama asserted that the EC came up with these guidelines after consulting the Ministry of Health and tasked all 2021 candidates to adhere to them in order to protect the citizens of the country for COVID-19, including the candidates.
“In spite of the existence of the said guidelines, you have have continued to ignore and/or negated observing the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) by holding mass rallies in contravention of the established Standard Operating Procedures intended to control the spread of the Coronavirus, thereby risking the lives of the people,” Byabakama noted in the letter.
Kyagulanyi and Amuriat are supposed to meet with the EC boss on Monday, December 14, 2020 at 10 and 11am respectively.
According to the EC guidelines on the 2021 electoral campaigns, candidates were tasked to have only 200 people at their campaign venues, with social distancing, masks and without processions.
However, TV footages have shown both Kyagulanyi and Amuriat addressing mammoth crowds.
The EC also summoned state minister for micro finance Harunah Kasolo and Panadol Mugema who were recently shown addressing hundreds of supporters in Kyotera and Iganga respectively.
Opposition politicians have continuously accused the ruling NRM and incumbent Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Kaguta Museveni of using the pandemic to stop them from meeting with the electorates.
Ugandans go to polls on January 14, 2021 to elect a new president and members of Parliament.