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Chained protestors invade Kisekka market

One of the chained protestors

Drama ensured at Kisekka market in Kampala this morning when a number of youths chained themselves to poles surrounding the facility in a demonstration campaign challenging the outcome of the February 18 general election won by the incumbent President Museveni.

The campaign code-named; “Free My Vote” is also in protest against the continued police presence at Dr Kizza Besigye's home in Kasangati, Wakiso district. The protestors dress in white t-shirts with inscriptions “break the chain - Free my vote,” and attach themselves to poles fastened with chains and padlocks.

Part of the group that invaded Kisekka market was released yesterday from police detention where they were taken following a similar protest at Katwe market on Thursday.

They are identified as Kiyemba George, Bukenya Mahad, Kasagga John, Askia Muhamad and Lubuuka Simon Peter among others.

Moses Byamugisha, an aide to the former Forum for Democratic Change presidential candidate Kizza Besigye says the youths continued with the protest upon realizing that more police officers were deployed at Besigye's home in Kasangati despite a declaration by police chief General Kale Kayihura that they would be withdrawn.

Byamugisha says that instead, more security officers reinforced with Uganda Peoples Defence Force (UPDF) personnel were deployed in the area last night.

He said that they will continue demonstrating as a sign of displeasure over the unjust actions subjected to opposition groups in the country.

Kasangati District Police Commander James Kawalya yesterday confirmed to journalists that he had received orders from Kayihura to withdraw but was quick to add that security always "withdraws in phases".

Kayihura yesterday maintained that despite the withdrawal of security from his home, Besigye will still be monitored by all agencies of the state.

Police was still heavily deployed at Kizza Bwesigye's residence last night 

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga says they have already unchained those who were at Kisekka market and detained them at Kampala Central Police Station. He added that police will arrest anybody who demonstrates without giving prior information to the force as required by the law.

Yesterday, The Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura told journalists that the arrested individuals committed a public order offense by disregarding provisions of the Public Order Management Act which requires demonstrators to seek police approval. He added that they will be charged with endangering public safety and order.


Meanwhile, Police in Masaka district has arrested two opposition youth leaders for planning a demonstration against the Supreme court ruling that validated the re-election of President Yoweri Museveni.

The arrested are Robert Kambugu Ssenyonga, the chairperson of Youth for Justice Brigade, a coalition of opposition political parties and Steven Ngobya Mulindwa, the group's mobilizer. They say the ruling of the Supreme court was unsatisfactory.

They were arrested on the orders of Joseph Ssekasamba, the Masaka deputy Resident District Commissioner, whom they had gone to serve with a notice of intention to hold a demonstration next Wednesday.

The notice indicates that the demonstration seeks to express discontentment with the Supreme court ruling which dismissed a petition filed by former presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi to challenge the outcome of the February 18 presidential election. They also intended to use the same demonstration to denounce police actions against FDC leader Dr Kizza Besigye.

However, Joseph Ssekasamba says the intentions tantamount to inciting violence. He added that they obtained intelligence information that the group was planning serious political revolts similar to the Walk-to-Work protests.

“What has happened in Kapchorwa you are aware, what has happened in Lango you are aware, what has happened in Kasese, you are aware. So for someone to be a promoter of justice when he himself is an injustice is unfair to Ugandans. Because we must accept the verdict was made yesterday and this person, Kambungu is a counsellor, Masaka municipality-elect. Using the same process of the Electoral Commission headed by [Badru] Kiggundu. Now why does he turn around and doesn’t respect the ballots of Badru Kiggundu. That is double standards…As an agent of security I can’t sit idle and say Kambugu should be let free..”, he said.

The arrested persons are held at the Masaka Central Police Station. But Kasekende says that the arrests and related threats will not deter them from proceeding with their planned demonstration. He says they will be marching to the courts around the central Uganda districts to voice their displeasure.

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