RUKUNGIRI – The standoff between police and FDC leaders in Rukungiri Town on Monday culminated in chaos and arrest of 10 people, including FDC secretary for mobilization Ingrid Turinawe.
The party had planned to hold thanksgiving prayers for some of their supporters who were killed on October 8 last year at Rukungiri stadium when police fought with opposition supporters, stopping them from holding a rally to speak against government’s plan to amend the presidential age limit.
While the FDC said they had informed police, the Force said the permission had not been granted.
FDC leaders such as party president Patrick Amuriat, MPs Roland Kaginda (Rukungiri Municipality), Betty Muzanira (Woman MP), Fred Turyamuhweza (Rujumbura) and district party chairperson Virginia Kyarugahe held a meeting with the top security officials, including the Resident District Commissioner, the District Police Commander, the District Internal Security Officer and the Regional Police Commander over the standoff around 11. 30 am at the district headquarters.
However, from the meeting, the security officials stood their ground and never cleared the function.
Around 1 pm Police fired teargas to disperse throngs that had gathered at FDC offices on the Main Street and arrested at least 10 people including Ms Turinawe. They were driven to driven to Ntungamo district police station and were by press time still in custody.
Dr Besigye had not left his home by press time. He wrote on Twitter: “Instead of providing badly needed security and policing services to Ugandans, Uganda Police is heavily deployed in various parts of Rukungiri today to stop an innocent, peaceful thanksgiving function! The road to my home blockaded. Maybe, planning to massacre people as happened in Kasese!”
According to Ms Turinawe, money from thanksgiving function was supposed to go to those who were injured (in the October 8, 2017, opposition-police scuffle in Rukungiri) , families of those in prison and family of late Nasasira.
Kigezi region police spokesperson Elly Matte said: “The Inspector General of Police wrote to them and I believe they received his letter informing them not to proceed with their assembly but they are trying to defy his directives.”