Uganda’s military has Monday deployed armored fighting vehicles in Kasese after opposition leader Kizza Besigye stormed the area.
Besigye and FDC top shots were in the opposition stronghold to strengthen grassroots structures as the country braces for general elections in 2021.
The former FDC president held a leadership training and sensitisation workshop with party local leaders at Rwenzori International Hotel.
FDC officials say efforts to search for Besigye during the course of the day did not bear fruit as police fell short of identifying the location of his meeting.
Besigye has in recent weeks stepped up his political activities, mobilizing people across the country to create a criticism mass the the needed momentum to change the country’s leadership through protests.
Earlier today, police spokesperson Fred Enanga warned FDC against undermining police.
He noted the recent incidents where police clashed with Besigye and his supporters in Kabale, Jinja, Tororo and Lira, saying the law enforcement body was simply enforcing the law because he never sought clearance for the assemblies.
The police publicist however reminded politicians that Uganda upholds freedoms of assembly and expression, but clear guidelines have to be followed.
Besigye and FDC President Patrick Amuriat emerged from Kasese FDC offices enroute to Ngakasinga playground only to be stopped by heavily armed forces.
Unlike in the past when police have played a bigger role in dispersing protesters, this time around the army appears to be taking a lead role.
Besigye maintains 2019 is a year of action to challenge Museveni’s hold onto power.
He said political action would be felt across the country.
President Museveni was recently in Kasese where FDC defectors were paraded before the media.
Museveni also praised support rendered by opposition FDC MP Godfrey Atkins Katusabe during preparations for the former’s tour of Bukonzo West Constituency, Kasese District.
“I thank the people of Kasese for the warm reception, the area NRM leaders for organizing the activities and the area MP, Hon Godfrey Katusabe of the FDC, for supporting them,” said Museveni, adding, “I am glad we had a successful bi-partisan gathering.”
An FDC official said the party’s leaders are now in the area to counter Museveni’s attempts to make significant inroads into the opposition stronghold.
Meanwhile, Enanga said all persons intending to stage gatherings should first inform the Inspector General of Police 14 days before the assemblies or processions and indicate the venue and number of people expected to attend such events.
Regional and District commanders have been urged to cooperate with the law-abiding political actors and issue protection and security to their public gatherings.
Enanga also revealed to journalists that as politicians prepare and strategize for 2021 general elections, the law enforcement body has as well embarked on taking its officers for refresher courses on how to handle public assemblies as a counter measure.