KAMPALA —Gen. Mugisha Muntu, The Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) Presidential candidate, and Independent Presidential candidate Gen. Henry Tumukunde have halted their campaigns— calling for the immediate release of his colleagues in the race for election including Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine of National Unity Platform and Patrick Amuriat of FDC.
Both Bobi Wine and Amuriat were violently arrested by security forces in Luuka and Gulu Districts respectively.
“We have decided to pause our presidential campaign activities until our colleagues, Bobi Wine and Patrick Amuriat are released and their freedom to campaign guaranteed. We call upon the government to recognize that this isn’t business as usual,” Gen. Muntu said after riots hit Kampala and other cities following the morning arrests.
Generals Muntu and Tumukunde and Democratic Party (DP) Norbert Mao condemned the arrest of their colleague Bobi Wine and demanded his immediate release.
Kyagulanyi was arrested in Luuka district over flouting Covid-19 guidelines which require only 200 people at a campaign venue.
He is reportedly in custody at Nalufenya police station in Jinja City.
“The impunity with which security operatives are operating in the continued harassment and now arrest of Hon. Kyagulanyi is leading this country closer to a breaking point,” Muntu warned, adding, that, “If the regime can act in the manner in blatant disregard of the act being captured on TV, shows how desperate and reckless the regime is as of now. If a presidential candidate can be arrested in that manner, the population should ask themselves…what happens to people that are not at that elevation.”
Mao presidential candidate issued a statement condemning the arrest of Kyagulanyi saying that all democracy seeking forces should cooperate in highlighting and combating police brutality.
“I have instructed the DP National Legal Advisor Counsel Luyimbazi Nalukoola to take legal steps to ensure that the NUP Presidential Candidate Robert Kyagulanyi who is in detention is released from custody immediately,” reads Mao’s statement in part.
Mao adds that he has equally asked his party lawyer to take legal steps against musician Moses Ssali aka Bebe Cool who he accuses of flouting Covid-19 guidelines with impunity through holding processions of ruling National Resistance Movement –NRM party supporters while police helplessly look on despite disrupting gatherings of opposition candidates under the pretext of enforcing Covid-19 rules.
Independent Presidential candidate Gen. Henry Tumukunde, says that the country is now at a turning point in history and that how authorities are operating shows disregard of the current state of affairs.
“We join other political leaders to unequivocally call for the immediate release of Presidential Candidate Robert Kyagulanyi,” said Tumukunde on his Twitter handle.
Kyagulanyi arrest has sparked off protests in different parts of country where hundreds took to the streets demanding for his release.
These lit tyres in the middle of roads around Kisekka Market, Nabugabo Lane, Nasser Road, Nkrumah, City Square, Bombo Road and Kampala Road.
The act prompted the regular police backed by anti-riot police, Military and Local Defence Units- LDUs to fire teargas and live bullets to disperse the protesters.
Three people are confirmed to have died while another 34 sustained serious injuries as police and the military confronted demonstrators.
The deceased are Mwanje Sandi, a 35-year-old male adult of Katwe, Juma Sendagire, a 27-year-old male adult of Lusanja Kitezi and one only identified as Amasi from Kubbiri in Kampala.
Police confirmed the deaths but did not give details.
“We do extend our sympathies to their families. The cause of death will be revealed after conducting post mortem examination. A total of 34 people sustained injuries during the violent confrontations and were rushed to Mulago National Referral hospital for further medical attention,” Police Spokesman Fred Enanga said on Wednesday evening.