The roadblocks have been established along Mbale-Tororo, Mbale-Sironko, Mbale-Soroti, Sironko-Kapchorwa, Tororo-Malaba, Tororo-Iganga, Mbale-Bududa and Manafwa-Lwakahaka road.
Between four and five plain clothed and uniformed personnel are manning each of the road blocks. The security officials are screening vehicles before they let them through. Diana Nandawula, the Elgon Regional Police Spokesperson says the roadblocks are intended to crackdown on those who are distributing Mbabazi’s electioneering materials.
Nandawula says they have received intelligence that several Mbabazi’s team has dispatched campaign materials such as posters, T-shirts and books to the region, which she says is illegal. According to Nandawula, they have not yet any arrests or impounded any materials since they set up the checkpoints.
A security officer who spoke to URN on condition of anonymity said they are trailing about 300 NRM youth in Elgon zone allied to Mbabazi. The youths are believed to be in possession of Mbabazi’s campaign material and are planning to distribute it.
However, some of the youth allied to Mbabazi in the region say they are not moved by the crackdown. Kenneth Wenani, the Elgon Zone Mbabazi Youth Coordinator says they have done nothing illegal.
Wenani describes the security crackdown as a clandestine move by the NRM party government to silence any potential challenger to President Yoweri Museveni.
He says no amount of intimidation or harassment by the state will deter them from supporting Mbabazi from taking over the governance of the country.
While responding to Mbabazi’s declaration on Monday evening, Museveni noted that it was premature for his former ally to involve himself in electioneering before the party or the Electoral Commission launch the exercise.