November 29, 2020


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Protesters block NRM branded vehicles from crossing Mukono

2 min read
Burning tyre barricades in the middle of the road in Mukono. Courtesy photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Several vehicles branded with the National Resistance Movement-NRM party colors and posters found a hard time going through Mukono district on Wednesday evening. The occupants were confronted by angry National Unity Platform-NUP party supporters protesting the arrest of their presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu on Wednesday morning.

They took to the streets and blocked Kampala-Jinja highway starting from the junction of Kayunga-Mukono-Jinja stretching to Wantoni and Nasuuti trading center respectively. They barricaded the road with boulders and burning car tires. The protesters demanded the unconditional release of Kyagulanyi from Nalufenya police station in Jinja city where he is locked up.

Our reporter observed a number of small vehicles and trucks making U-turns as others struggled to secure parking space until the situation calms down. Most of the people who were driving vehicles branded with NRM party colors and posters of NRM candidates were seen fleeing for their dear lives. The protesters also torched government vehicles and also pulled down posters and billboards of NRM candidates and set them ablaze.

One of the billboards that were pulled down belonged to the NRM presidential candidate Yoweri Museveni opposite Collins Hotel. The army and local defence units joined police and managed to disperse the protesters from the highway. The running battles shifted from the main road to small trading centers such as Ntaawo, Lower Kauga, Kame valley market and Industrial zone until 10 pm.

Two people were shot. One of them identified as Robert, a vendor in the area died on the spot and his body was taken to Mukono general hospital mortuary. Justine Namambo was hit by a stray bullet at Seeta trading center while travelling in a tax from Kampala and is currently admitted at Mukono hospital.

Police ordered traders who were still operating to close their business premises and retreat to their homes. Mukono Division Police Commander Abubakar Musiho said the move was intended to keep businesses secure. He also noted that some of the rioters had made it a habit to create commotion and run into shops upon seeing police.

The seemingly exhausted officer confirmed the arrest of several ring leaders of the protest. Jamiru Munaawa, a resident of Mukono district appealed to the government to consider giving an equal platform to all political candidates to avoid such scuffles. Some of the NRM candidates like Abassi Ssozi, the Mukono Municipality parliamentary candidate said they are depressed with the destruction of their campaign posters by the NUP supporters.



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