Presidential aspirant Amama Mbabazi has been forced to abandon his consultation meetings in Jinja after police forcefully escorted the former premier to Kampala.
It later turned out that it was a ploy to fool his supporters as he was eventually driven back. Others claim Mbabazi pretended to have left Jinja before switching cars at Njeru bridge and driving back.
Earlier police fired rubber bullets and teargas to disperse a crowd that had gathered at Kazimingi Industrial Park. Mbabazi arrived this afternoon in Jinja from Mbale and was scheduled to address consultative meetings on his presidential ambitions at Kazimingi and Kakindu Sports Stadium.
Mbabazi connected to Kazimingi via Makenke to avoid a Police roadblock at Gaddafi Army Barracks roundabout. No sooner had Mbabazi arrived at Kazimingi than Edgar Nyabongo, the Kiira Regional Police Commander ordered his men to fire teargas to disperse hundreds of residents that had gathered chanting support songs.
Most of the residents fled towards the maize mills while others scattered towards Jinja Central Market, where they remained watching what was transpiring at a safe distances. Mbabazi closely watched was happening from the roof on his vehicle while raising his 'go forward' symbol.
One of Mbabazi's guards known as Aine was arrested while another was shot in the leg. This morning, David Kyasanku, the Jinja Town Clerk asked Mbabazi to look for alternative venues saying both Kakindu Stadium and Kazimingi were unavailable.
According to Kyasanku, Uganda Police applied on August 17 to utilise Kakindu Stadium for one month, starting on September 9 to train for Independence day celebrations.
He said the business community at Kazimingi, Jinja Taxi Park and Central market also petitioned the municipality last month to block political rallies in Kazimingi citing the disruption of their business.
According to Kyasanku, in their petition the businessmen claimed that they don't sell and lose their merchandise whenever rallies are held at Kazimingi.
But even at the third venue Travel hotel, Police still blocked Mbabazi warning him of heavy causalities should he insist on going there.
Heavily armed Police officers led by Haruna Isabirye, the police director operations and Edgar Nyabongo, the Kiira Regional Police Commander intercepted Mbabazi at Lubogo road on his way to Travel Hotel.
As Mbabazi was still pleading with the police officers to let him into the hotel, information filtered through that the hotel owner Jude Mbabali had cancelled his reservation.
Mbabazi had opted to address his supporters at Travel hotel after Police blocked him from addressing them at Kazimingi and Kakindu Stadium.
He later agreed with Police to address a small group of his mobilisers at Nile Anchor Hotel, which belongs to FDC strongman Harry Kasigwa. Mbabazi asked his supporters to move to Nile Anchor Hotel.
Yesterday Wednesday, Police also broke up his consultative meeting in Soroti using tear gas and rubber bullets. More than 20 people were injured in the skirmishes with Police.