KAMPALA – Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martin Okoth Ochola has said the November protests were not spontaneous but rather planned.
The protests broke out on November 18, 2020 following the arrest of the National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine while on the campaign trail in Luuka District.
Ochola made the remarks on December 11, 2020 while addressing the public on the security situation amidst COVID-19 and elections.
According to him, Kyagulanyi’s supporters rioted committing several criminal acts of looting, staging illegal roadblocks, robbing of motorists and pedestrians, sectarianism and hate speech, undressing women, damaging private and Government vehicles, burning government buildings including Wobulenzi Magistrates court and Katwe-Katale Police post, burning tyres, etc.
“These riots were not spontaneous but were planned and unraveled earlier than intended. Police is analyzing the evidence that points to these plans and to their execution,” he told the media.
Ochola noted that some innocent lives were lost in the riots but also some of the rioters lost their lives during their violent charge against the security forces.
“Investigations have been sanctioned and are ongoing regarding the registered deaths arising out of these riots which will inform the appropriate course of action. We call upon the public to fully cooperate with these investigations,” said Ochola.
He further revealed that the Police is also aware of some efforts that are in play to interfere with the investigations.
“We would like to warn all those involved in this interference that they shall face the full face of the law if they do not stop forthwith,” he warned.
He urged all stakeholders to play their part in order to stem the undesired consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Lawlessness and hooliganism under the guise of political activity as the country has witnessed on a number of occasions shall not be accepted and shall be dealt with firmly and decisively,” he said.
He added, “Infractions perpetrated through social media and other abuses orchestrated through irresponsible traditional media are unacceptable in a free and democratic society and will also be dealt with according to the laws of the country.”