NUP forced to postpone planned demo, prayers after heavy security deployment in Iganga town

Police office on a police patrol car while patrolling in Iganga Town on Monday, January 22, 2023

Iganga, (UG): Security was on Monday beefed up in Iganga town to block the anticipated prayer gathering and planned peaceful demonstration by the opposition politicians from various political parties who were scheduled to interact with supporters and ascertain their challenges.

Early last week, opposition politicians in Iganga Municipality announced to host National Unity Platform (NUP) president Hon Kyagulanyi Sentamu Robert alias Bobi Wine, Katonga FDC president Erias Lukwago and former FDC president Rtd Col Dr Kiiza Besigye at Municipal Council primary school in Iganga town.

Commenting on the heavy deployment in the town, the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Iganga District, Mr Wandera Sadala said the organizers of the gatherings didn’t get permission from the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to hold the prayer event, which was scheduled to take place today, Monday on January 22, 2024.

Wandera added that the venue which was planned by the organizers wasn’t suitable given the fact that it’s in the middle of the town something the RDC said could inconvenience people’s work in the business town.

“We got information through media and the community that NUP was mobilizing for a function within Iganga town which had not been permitted by police headquarters and at the same time, the venue they chose is in the middle of the town. We realized that our business community will get disrupted looking at the numbers they were mobilizing,” the RDC said.

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He also explained that security was not prepared to safeguard people at the function citing that their number was small as the rest joined Kampala to give security during the NAM summit and G77 plus China summit, adding that it could also compromise the terror alerts.

“They wanted about 3,000 people but I believe through the mobilization they were making, the number could surpass that. This needed proper security measures to counteract anything like terror attacks and we don’t want to put our people at risk given that we’re on terror alert. We thought it was just beyond the prayers they were talking about and we couldn’t take things for granted and we had to protect the citizens by deploying both the police and the army,” Mr Wandera explained.

Field Force Unit patrolling Iganga town on Monday

However, the Mayor Iganga municipal council who doubles as the NUP coordinator Busoga region Mr. Bamu Lulenzi told DailyExpress that the prayer event was later postponed on grounds that Kyagulanyi couldn’t attend without Lukwago and Besigye.

It should be remembered that Lukwago and Besigye were subjected to house arrest as they tried to move to the city to demonstrate against the portholes in the city roads and they had even planned to plant banana sackers in the portholes.

Mayor Lulenzi was discontented with the deployment in the town saying such money funding the officers could be utilized in service delivery by equipping health centres with drugs and fixing roads across the country.

“There are many military men and policemen on every road here in Iganga and this is a sign of timidity by the regime. We have been telling people that our government spends a lot of money on useless things which could be used to construct roads in Iganga and also equip our health centres with drugs,” Bamu Lulenzi said.

Lulenzi said that the leaders were going to have a joint interaction with their supporters to ascertain their challenges and also engage in prayers at the municipal council primary school.

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By press time, the situation was calm in the town and nothing had since occurred because of the deployment, and the RDC asked the organizers next time to follow proper procedure by getting written permission from police headquarters and as well discuss with them the venue which is not in the middle of the town.

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