Calm has been restored to most parts of Kampala after last evening’s sporadic riots that swept through Uganda’s capital city and other parts of the country, Chimp Corps report.
However, some Kampala suburbs especially Kawempe and Bwaise remain on the edge as rioters continue to light fires in the middle of the roads.
The military police and anti-riot police personnel are heavily deployed in the Central Business District (CBD).
Business has resumed in Naalya, Namugongo, Kiwatule and Kiira where rioters burnt old tyres to protest the arrest of presidential candidates Patrick Amuriat and Robert Kyagulanyi.
The situation remains tense and unpredictable in downtown Kampala where rioters fought security forces in protracted street battles.
“I have reopened my shop but I am not sure if we won’t have more violence today,” said Patrick Kimbowa, a trader in Kisseka, downtown Kampala.
More military personnel have been deployed in Makindye, Kasubi, Namungona and Bwaise to reinforce security in these hotspots.
The Wednesday riots caught security personnel by surprise.
In Bwaise, a group of men burned tyres and wood on the northern by-pass possible to block traffic. The military police quickly intervened to clear the road.
Police fired water cannon, bullets and tear gas at brick-throwing protesters in some of the most widespread and violent clashes in more than five years.
Running battles in different parts of the country especially Jinja, Mukono, Gulu and Lira followed weeks of growing tensions between the opposition and government over the conduct of campaigns which police say will increase the spread of Coronavirus.
Kalerwe was literally a no-go area for most cops as tyres continued to burn up to about 6:00pm.
Rioters, many of them dressed in red and wearing face masks, took cover from the tear gas and bullets, with some throwing bricks and stones at security forces.
Large plumes of smoke billowed into the sky as thousands of pedestrians choked on teargas and gunpowder.
The rioters also tore down also smashed the windows of government vehicles and tore down President Museveni’s campaign posters.
As of last night, police said three people were confirmed dead with scores behind bars. The death toll is said to be higher.
President Museveni is yet to comment on yesterday’s violence.
Meanwhile, the United States Mission in Kampala issued a statement calling for restraint among the warring parties.
“The United States deplores the violence that has claimed multiple lives today, and we extend our sympathy to the victims’ families and loved ones,” the U.S. embassy in Kampala said in a media note.
“We urge all parties to renounce violence, undertake good-faith measures to reduce tensions, and respect fundamental freedoms.”