Police, army deploy at Mbabazi Kotido rally


Amama at a rally in Kotido town


Elements of the Uganda police force and the national army [UPDF] on Wednesday deployed heavily in Kotido town where presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi had a rally.

Last week, Mbabazi’s campaign team clashed with police in Dokolo, Lango and Apac in northern Uganda.

A police truck, according to media reports, drove past Apac Boma grounds where Mbabazi was addressing a rally, asking people to leave the scene or be teargased.

In Dokolo, live bullets and tear gas were fired to disperse his supporters.

In Lira district, police closed off some roads and blocked Mbabazi’s planned visit to the Barlonyo memorial site where he was sceduled to pay tribute to more than 300 people massacred by the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in February 2004.

He was later followed by police up to the collapsed Aswa river bridge that connects Lira to Pader district, according to The Observer.

In Kotido today, the ruling party [NRM] supporters gathered in the town to form an anti-Mbabazi procession as has been the case in other towns.


Police officers patrol Kotido town streets [Photo by Raymond Mujuni] 

According to NTV’s reporter, Raymond Mujuni, while NRM supporters were gathering and parading around town for a possible chaotic showdown, UPDF soldiers and police officers just walked past them without even a word of warning.

The mobilised people, continues Mujuni, were wearing NRM t-shirts with President Yoweri Museveni’s portrait.

The situation remained tense as the group occupied different routes earlier scheduled to be used by Mbabazi on his way to the campaign rally venue.

There are unconfirmed reports saying boda boda motorcyclists had also been given “free fuel” not to take part in Mbabazi’s procession.

Similar episodes were recorded in Ntungamo district at the close of last year leading to the beating up and injuring of several Museveni’s supporters by Go Forward supporters.

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