Seven Mbabazi Supporters Arrested In Mbale Top story

3264 Views Mbale, Eastern Region, Uganda

In short
She says Police swung into action after receiving information that there was a group of people holding an illegal meeting at the Pump fuel station.

Police in Mbale are holding seven supporters of the former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi ahead of his scheduled visit to the area on Thursday this week.

Our reporter has only able to establish the identity of the suspects as Latifu Kizangi, the LC III chairman of Bukonde Sub County. He is one of the coordinators of Amama Mbabazi in the Elgon Zone.
 
Kizangi and six others were picked up on Monday afternoon from Shell Pump Fuel station along Majanga road. Diana Nandawula, the Elgon Regional Police Commander has confirmed their arrest.
 
  
She says Police swung into action after receiving information that there was a group of people holding an illegal meeting at the Pump fuel station.
 

Nandawula declined to divulge more details on the suspects saying they were still being interrogated at Mbale Central Police Station before any action is taken against them.

On Saturday, General Kale Kayihura, the Inspector General of Police dashed to Mbale and held several meetings with Police personnel in the region.
 

Kayihura arrived in Mbale on Saturday afternoon where he spent much of his evening at the Islamic University in Uganda - IUIU main campus in Nkoma where he participated in the Annual Ramadhan Convention.
 
The police chief who was in the company of five other senior Police officers from Kampala later convened several meetings with Senior Police Officers in Mbale before he left on Sunday night.
 
A senior police officer who declined to be named because he is not authorised to speak to the media said anti-riot Police from Mbale and the neighboring districts are on alert to block Mbabazi from stepping foots in Mbale.


Diana Nandawula, the Elgon Regional Police Spokesperson declined to comment on Kayihura's meeting with the Police officers in Mbale. She however confirmed that Andrew Felix Kawesi, the Director of Operations Uganda Police is in Mbale over what she described usual operation.
 
She said Kawesi's presence in Mbale is to oversee the security in the area after they received intelligence information indicating that some people want to disorganize peace in Mbale.

Mbabazi who last month announced his presidential bid in the 2016 general elections is expected to launch his countrywide consultations meetings in Mbale this Thursday.
 
 However, Kayihura has insisted that Mbabazi's move is against the law and illegal. The police have accordingly not cleared him.

But Mbabazi insists that he does not need clearance from Police and vows to proceed with his planned consultative meetings. The mood in Mbale remains tense as many people expect clashes between Police and Pro-Mbabazi.
 

However, some of the youth allied to Mbabazi in the region say they are not moved by the arrests. Kenneth Wenani, one of the Mbabazi Youth Coordinators in Elgon Zone says they are ready to take on the Police because their planned meetings are within the law.

//Cue in: "Come sunshine, come rain...
Cue out: ...we are ready."//


At least three pick-up vehicles were seen on Monday distributing Mbabazi Mbabazi posters and T-shirts.

The vehicles dropped Mbabazi T-shirts at several trading centers like in Namakwekwe and Nkoma in Mbale Municipality before speeding off.
 
A police patrol pick truck trailed one of the vehicles up to Malukhu but did not find any campaign materials in it.

 

About the author

Denis Olaka
Denis Olaka is the URN bureau chief for Lira, in northern Uganda. Apac and Otuke fall under his docket. Olaka has been a URN staff member since 2011.

Olaka started his journalism career in 2000 as a news reporter, anchor, and then editor for Radio Lira in Lira district. He was subsequently an editor with Lira's Radio Wa in 2004 and Gulu district's Mega FM.

He was also a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper newspapers.

Olaka's journalism focuses on politics, health, agriculture and education. He does a lot of crime reporting too.