Police arrest 5 NUP members over illegal assembly in Western Uganda

The five were arrested Thursday as police dispersed a meeting attended by some party leaders, coordinators and mobilisers in for Tooro Sub-region at Twilight cottages in Kyenjojo town council.

Police swings into action to arrest an NUP supporter who was among the participants in the illegal assembly in Kyenjojo District. PHOTO/ COURTESY 

KYENJOJO, UGANDA: Police in Kyenjojo District in western Uganda Thursday arrested five members of the opposition National Unity Platform (NUP), accusing them of holding an illegal assembly without security clearance.

The five NUP members facing charges of holding and participating in an illegal assembly include Ephraim Gumisiriza, Juliet Nabayaga, Clash Kiwalabye, George William Sekanjago and Asiimwe Ndijuna.

Police say the group was arrested Thursday in a dispersed meeting that was attended by some party leaders, coordinators and mobilisers in the Tooro Sub-region at Twilight Cottages in Kyenjojo town council.

Police officers grab an NUP supporter who was among the participants in the illegal assembly in Kyenjojo District. PHOTO/ COURTESY 

According to Rwenzori West Police Spokesperson Vincent Twesigye, the top NUP party officials had planned to launch their mobilization campaign dubbed Kunga in the western district when police burst their move.

“The meeting was organized by Ndijuna and Sekanjako who had invited guests, including NUP secretary general Lewis Rubongoya, the deputy president of NUP Jolly Mugisha, party chairman for mobilization Fred Nyanzi Sentamu and the deputy spokesperson Alex Waiswa Mufumbiro,” Mr Twesige said on Friday.

He said the suspects were Thursday detained at Kyenjojo Central Police Station arguing that the said NUP members did not notify them about the meeting as required by the Public Order Management Act and therefore it was illegal.

“All those who intend to organize any assembly or demonstration need to notify the police and their notice should indicate the date, time, location, size of venue, the purpose of the meeting and other basic information which is justified, to ensure the smooth conduct of the assembly,” he said.

The regional police boss said “joint security agencies in the area have been tasked to remain vigilant and work with political actors who keep their activities within the law. And in addition, use lawful and reasonable methods to disperse and disrupt unlawful assemblies.”

NUP chairman for mobilization Fred Nyanzi Sentamu lies on the ground after he was injured in the scuffle as police and sister agencies dispersed a meeting organized by party leaders and coordinators in Kyenjojo District. PHOTO/ COURTESY 

NUP Speaks out

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The scuffle that left Mr Fred Nyanzi the elder brother of NUP principal, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine and another party supporter, Ibrahim Musinguzi injured in the scuffle has been highly condemned by the Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LoP) Mr Mathias Mpuuga who took a swipe at the Attorney General for recently praising the government’s human rights record as good.

“Without a doubt, the regime’s Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka will describe this as a great display of respect for human dignity and rights!! So, it’s only the dictator’s son who’s supposed to mobilise but not registered political parties!!” Mr Mpuuga wondered.

Bobi Wine took to Twitter to express how the regime he described as a coward one violently attacked the party leaders for convening a normal meeting in Western Uganda.

Kyagulanyi said; “Today, the cowardly regime yet again launched a violent attack on our leaders in Western Uganda! The police and military attacked our leaders as they went to induct and launch our Mobilisation Teams for Tooro Sub-region in Kyenjojo District.”

“Yesterday, the meeting in Mbarara had to be done secretly and the police only got to know after it had ended. The military and police commandeered by the DPC and RDC violently attacked them and arrested several of them. …. We condemn this criminality in the strongest terms. I can assure Museveni and his criminal gangs that they will have to pay for each of these crimes against humanity,” he added.

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Police interface with NUP party officials before the alleged illegal assembly was halted in Kyenjojo District. PHOTO/ COURTESY 

The NUP team leader for the party’s Tooro sub-region coordinators, Mr Innocent Natukunda said police and sister agencies have been trying to frustrate their meetings for days.

“We had a meeting of NUP mobilization and coordinators on Thursday in Kyenjojo at Twilight Gardens. Police interrupted it and asked everyone to leave saying we did not seek clearance. We chose to reduce the numbers and have it at our party office. Still, police surrounded us,” he said, before adding that they went to the RDC “to discuss under which law they were stopping us from meeting at our own office they asked us to make it official and probably ask for another date.”

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