BUGWERI – A consultative meeting organized by People Power, a political pressure group in Idudi Town, Bugweri District on Thursday aborted after police dispersed the supporters and confiscated the public address system.
The meeting had been cancelled by Ms Mercy Walukamba, who has been endorsed by the group to contest for the District Woman MP seat.
Bugweri is a newly created district and is set to hold elections for different political positions.
Also in attendance was Dr Abed Bwanika of the People’s Democratic party and Samson Lubega from the Democratic Party among other officials.
Donning red colour with caps that are associated with the political pressure group first marched in Idudi Town shouting anti-government slogans and the famous “People Power Our Power Slogan”.
Word was also rife that Robert Kyagulanyi, the Kyadondo East MP, was to attend the meeting. This is believed to have attracted police attention.
No sooner had the group leaders started addressing the gathering than Police led by the District Police Commander, Mr John Nkudizana, stormed the venue and asked them to stop the meeting and leave.
Police then confiscated the Public Address System, tents and chairs.
“This meeting is illegal and should not be here. You were not cleared by police,” Mr Nkudizana said.
He said that before the meeting started, police had asked the organizers to call it off, claiming it was illegal but they insisted.
However, this attracted anger from the organisers who engaged in a bitter exchange of words with the police.
Walukamba later told journalists that said she had written to the Inspector General of Police, informing him about the meeting as required by law.
“All procedure was followed. This was not a rally but a consultative meeting and some of my opponents had held it before. The question is why are they stopping me yet my opponents were allowed?” Ms Walukamba wondered.
The meeting then ended prematurely.
People Power pressure group has gained prominence this year, with several of its supporters winning seats in Parliament. In Bugiri, a big people power onslaught brought Asuman Basalirwa to power. The same happened for Kassiano Wadri in Arua Municipality by-election, which ended in chaos that has seen security agencies ban what they call processions ahead of elections.
The procession in Arua ended in the arrest of several MPs and other citizens for allegedly stoning the president’s vehicle. The group has since been charged with treason.