Monday, April 18, 2011

Uganda Demonstrations over fuel and food prices intense

Uganda's opposition Leader Col Kizza Besigye was this morning arrested for what the Uganda police say is defiance againt the law Military and local police fighting running battles with Dr Kizza Besigye's supporters in Kasangati (5 mins) from Kampala the Capital city  where the Forum for Democratic Change leader has been detained. Journalists are encamped at Kasangati Police Post, afraid of moving out to cover the running battles after one military officer told them that "shooting a journalist by mistake is not a crime,"

Meanwhile Normalcy is returning to Kireka, a Kampala suburb, after a tense morning that saw several skirmishes between the Police and residents of Kireka. Our reporter in Kireka indicates that the situation became tense after the Police reportedly tear gassed Kabaka Ronald Mutebi's convoy that was leaving his Banda palace. This action is reported to have agitated Buganda Kingdom royalists demanding, "How can you tear gas the Kabaka on his land?" Police and Military Police were immediately depolyed as groups of youth started throwing stones and burning car tyres in the middle of roads. Traffic into Kampala city centre was heavily disrupted and diverted to snake its way behind Namboole Stadium. However our reporter indicates that a state of calm is returning to Kireka as the Police successfull clears debris from the roads. One person , Edwin Mugisha who is a mechanic has been arrested.

In Hoima District 1 hr from Kampala  A group of eight youth including former FDC Candidate for Hoima District Woman MP seat, Asinansi Nyakato and Dan Tumwesigye former FDC Hoima District LCV Candidate have been arrested in Hoima District while attempting to walk to the FDC offices in a show of solidarity with the Walk to Work demonstration. They were arrested at the Hoima hospital gate and are held at Hoima Police Station. There is heavy deployment of police in the area.

DP President Norbert Mao and several followers who were intending to take part in the walk to work demonstration have been arrested. Mao and his followers were arrested hardly 100 metres outside the gate of his home in Ntinda by a contingent of police in two trucks. Speaking to our reporter, Mao said that the police claimed that they had reinstated the cases against him for inciting violence, unlawful assembly and disobeying a lawful order by a police officer. He has been arrested with seven others.

Jinja town this Monday morning is currently at a standstill as many taxi drivers participate in the walk to work demonstrations called by the Opposition parties in Uganda despite previous assurances by the Jinja tax operators Association chairman Hajji Kalid Muyingo they would not participate in the demonstrations. Many early morning workers have resorted to walking as taxi drivers have parked their vehicles by the roadside leaving many stranded.

By 8 o'clock jinja Tax Park was visibly empty of taxes and stages like Kampala stage, Mbiko stage had no vehicle to transport passengers. "I had not wished to walk to work but now that there are no vehicles, I will", Kibenge Isaac said while waiting for a tax to go to Nytil textiles in Njeru Town council.

The taxi drivers' action came after about 50 boda boda cyclists initiated the walk to work demonstration rolling their motor bikes with full lights on in protest against the rising fuel prices. Their protest began at around 5am with the meeting point at Total refilling station in the junction of Main street  and Clive road west. By 6 o'clock, security was already tight and the army was deployed in every corner of the town especially at the volatile Kirinya and spire road.The two streets are the strong holds of opposition FDC in Jinja town.

UPC President Olara Otuunu has been arrested at Game shopping center Nakawa at about 9:35am.   He has been arrested with Chris Opoka and Badru Wegulo. Otunnu was arrested on the orders of Alphonse Mutabazi the OC Jinja Road Police station.

FDC president Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye has today morning been arrested 200 meters away from his home in Kasangati. Besigye who was determined to continue with the walk to work campaign over the rising cost of living in the country was arrested at 6:39am with three other supporters and has been taken to Kasangati Police Station. Tight security has been positioned around the station as a mass of Besigye supporters' flock the station


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