MBALE– National Resistance Movement (NRM) leaders in Mbale District have accused police of fighting the party activities after the Force used teargas to disperse party supporters as they launched a campaign dubbed ‘Team No Sleep’ in Nakaloke Town Council on Saturday.
After launching the campaign on Saturday that was presided over by the director of administration and mobilization, Mr Hassan Galiwango, the NRM supporters marched from Nakaloke town to Mbale town, clad in yellow and chanting slogans President Museveni. However, the group was stopped in its tracks by anti-riot police on Republic Street who used tear gas to disperse them.
And on Tuesday, the NRM district leaders accused police of sabotage and witch-hunt.
“We launched our movement as a ruling party to encounter the opposition’s people power but unfortunately as our supporters were matching in town, police swung into action and teargassed them without any explanation,” said Mr Mahmound Masaba, the district party chairman.
Mr Masaba said despite the supporters being clad in the party uniform, placards and carrying party banners and flags, they were teargassed.
“It’s regrettable that police leadership is now fighting the NRM leadership in the district,” he said.
He added that if this continues, it will give an upper hand to the opposition in Bugisu sub-region, which is already an opposition stronghold for Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).
Mr Galiwango said the objective of the movement was a peaceful one and only intended to rally support for the party and prevent opposition from misleading the youth.
“This movement is aimed at rallying support for the party and it not like people power, which is only intended to misled people since it has no agenda. It’s only for Bobi Wine and his family,” he said.
But the district police commander, Mr Mathias Turyasingura, defended the decision to teargas the NRM supporters, saying they had attacked the police station.
“We should distinguish between party politics and criminality. They come with goons and attacked the police stations. They were also blocking roads, which was unacceptable,” he said, adding all peaceful means to have them leave the police station, failed and they had to use force.
“The NRM supporters are not supposed to cause chaos and attack a police station,” he emphasized.