KAMPALA – Government has urged protesters to stop attacking security personnel who are suppressing protests over the arrest of Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine.
The Minister of Information and National Guidance, Ms Judith Nabakooba, said such attacks will not deter the security personnel from carrying out their lawful duties.
“In some of the images, we see situations where people are directly attacking police officers who were trying to restore order. Usually, the victims of this lawlessness are innocent pedestrians trying to get to safety or the early responders such as the police. I would like to condemn most strongly these unfortunate incidences. I call upon everyone especially the youth to stay away from any form of rioting,” Nabakooba said in a statement.
Since Wednesday, the police and the army have been battling youths demonstrating in several parts of the country over the arrest of National Unity Platform presidential flag bearer Kyagulanyi Robert Ssentamu. He was arrested yesterday in Luuka district for allegedly holding a campaign rally oblivious of the guidelines on the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nabakooba also condemned the loss of lives and destruction of property that happened yesterday. She said the number of the dead is expected to grow as more cases of those killed in the fracas are reported.
Nabakooba also said that lighting fires in the middle of the road, looting, attacking others because of their political ideology is wrong and should be condemned by everyone.
“I call upon the public to cooperate with the police in identifying the suspects behind these unfortunate incidences,” Nabakooba said. She appealed to all candidates to adhere to the guidelines issued by the Electoral Commission and Ministry of Health in regards to holding public events.
“We must appreciate that these are very unusual circumstances. The country is conducting a national election amidst a pandemic that has claimed several lives. It is therefore important that all presidential candidates make an effort towards respecting these guidelines. They are for our good…If these were normal circumstances, I believe all candidates could mobilize huge numbers at their campaign events,” Nabakooba said.
Several presidential candidates have so far suspended their campaigns citing the continued police crackdown on their activities. They also demand that the police unconditionally release Kyagulanyi so that he can go on with his campaigns.