Presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi has decried harassment by state operatives who nearly marred his rallies in Kaabong district in northern Uganda on Tuesday.
In a statement, Mbabazi says alot [confrontation by government officials] was done to disrupt his rally although people broke through the barriers and attended the rally.
Appreciating the residents for turning up, Mbabazi said that was “the true spirit of Uganda”.
He accused the Resident District Commissioner [RDC], Police, Brigade IO for allegedly attempting to disperse all gathering crowds and deny them a planned venue as well as attempting to push his gathering 70 kilometers out of town.
“…the confiscation of our public address systems and forceful return to the owners whom we had hired them from. All of this is most unfortunate.”
He added: “For meaningful change in our lives we must have a government that respects all our views no matter how divergent. Violence and threats of arrest have no place in our democratic process. This is what we in Go Forward believe.”
The former Prime Minister says because of all “this unnecessary aggravation from these errant officers”, he started the rally late.
Locked out of radio
After the disrupted rally, Mbabazi hoped to further reach his audience through Karamoja radio.
“So I will be on the radio tonight to speak of solutions to your problems. I have been in government, I understand how it should work,” he said after the rally.
However, in the evening Mbabazi, accompanied by former spy, David Pulkol, was locked out of Voice of Karamoja where he had already booked a talk show.
The Station Manager said that he was following orders from the Resident District Commissioner.
The RDC, on the other hand, denied giving the order to block Mbabazi’s talk show.
The radio was quickly closed down although Mbabazi had already paid about Shs800,000 for the airtime.
Earlier, Mbabazi’s security team that was traveling in a Toyota Super Custom Registration Number UAT 654Z got an accident.
According to witnesses, the vehicle swerved off the road along Kotido-Moroto road minutes after departure from Moroto town.
The incident that occurred at Kaloe Village Nadunget Sub County, left atleast three members of the team injured.
The injured were transferred to Atapara hospital in Karamoja for treatment.
“We have experienced the worst problem here as one car had an accident while another three punctures,” Mbabazi later said in a statement.
He blamed the poor road infrastructure saying road infrastructure should be the first investment towards economic development.
Kaabong also needs serious investment in health; drugs in hospitals, health personnel, health infrastructure, Mbabazi said.
“Earlier I visited Kidepo National Park and we discussed the solutions to conservation, resettlement of those in the Elephant corridor.”
“For meaningful change in our lives we must have a government that respects all our views no matter how divergent.”
He said violence and threats of arrest have no place in a democratic process.
“This is what we in Go Forward believe.”
He said the 2016 election is about securing the future of the next generation through a peaceful transition of power.
“NRM cannot deliver this. We must prepare the next generation to Go Forward and advance the interests of all Ugandans, young and old.”