The Member of Parliament for Lwemiyaga County in Sembabule District, Mr Theodore Ssekikubo, was on Friday arrested for allegedly inciting the public to forcefully move cattle in an area placed under a quarantine.
This was during the Ssembabule Friday market day.
Police spokesperson Fred Enaga confirmed that the legislator was detained at Masaka Central Police station.
By the time of posting this story, the MP’s legal team was working on getting him police bond.
The incident comes after Mr Ssekikubo together with other cattle dealers and farmers threatened to defy the directive to close the cattle market in the area, saying it was placed arbitrarily.
Cattle traders and residents of Lwemiyaga County led by their Member of Parliament Ssekikubo on Tuesday petitioned Parliament protesting what they called the unlawful and arbitrary blockading of Lwemiyaga cattle market.
The residents handed over the petition to the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, and called for investigations into the role of the security minister Gen Elly Tumwine in the market blockade.
They also explained that the blockade has nothing to do with the alleged Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).
“There is no FMD in Lwemiyaga,” Mr Ssekikubo said;
“Police is hiding behind movement permits to impoverish our people. They are working for people in Kampala who have personal interests in the market.
The security minister is using police to deny our people livelihood. They are using extra-judicial methods to play politics,” Mr Ssekikubo said.
More than 50 petitioners who travelled to Kampala explained that on Friday they were blocked from selling their cattle to traders outside their District on grounds that the area had been quarantine due the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).
Although Gen Tumwine was unavailable for comment as he was busy accompanying the President to Birembo in memory of the 195km bush war trek , the petitioners have accused him of ordering the police to allegedly close Lwemiyaga cattle market and dispersing people from the market to protect his interests in the cattle trade.
All attempts to reach Gen Tumwine were futile as his known mobile phone was either off or unavailable and there was no reply to the text messages we sent him.
But the petitioners and their area MP say Gen Tumwine who comes from one of the sub-counties in Ssembabule District has no clean hands because he is using his office to influence decisions and moves that are meant to deny them market.
Mr Ssekikubo who likens the Security minister to a leper who whose hands aren’t clean and therefore colluded with MAAIF officials and police to block them from selling their cows.…
“Tumwine wants only Kyemamba market because his business associate operates there. The security minister is acting like leper, with no clean hands as he has become a menace in Sembabule..,” Mr Ssekikubo said.
“The police is an appendage of Gen Tumwine and they have connived to block the market without any justification,” he added.
Mr Ssekikubo claims Gen Tumwine has an interest in the said matter.
“Tumwine has personal interest in the matter. They want to force us to sell the cows at half [the actual] price,” Mr Ssekikubo said.