Plans by Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) to hold Presidential campaigns in Mbarara City on Wednesday fell flat after they disagreed with security on the route plan.
According to the harmonized Electoral Commission (EC) schedule, the party’s Presidential flag bearer Patrick Oboi Amuriat was supposed to campaign in the districts of Isingiro and Mbarara.
However, on his way to Mbarara at Kaberebere trading center, he was tipped that security forces had sealed off the Isingiro-Mbarara road with the intention of denying him access to the area.
To evade this blockade, Amuriat together with his convoy which numbered about six vehicles took a dirt road through Masha Sub County.
However, just before getting to the city at about 3:00 PM, he met a heavily barricaded road block near Bishop Stuart University.
He then disembarked from his SUV and tried to convince they officers to let him through but all his pleas fell on deaf ears.
Then, a scuffle broke out between Police and his team who argued it was not security’s preserve to dictate which route a presidential candidate must use as long as he/she is following ECs Programme.
Amidst this, Amuriat lurched onto a passing bodaboda aided by a handful of youth from the TIK (Turinawe Ingrid Kamateneti) alliance and about 10 FDC campaign team members.
In the process of preventing his escape, Mbarara District Police Commander John Rutagira was knocked by Amuriat’s motorcycle before it sped away.
With Amuriat not anywhere in sight, a 20 minute goose chase then ensued between Police pick-up trucks and FDC branded vehicles which they thought knew where the former Kumi County MP was headed.
It eventually died out after Amuriat’s entourage parked at Grand Holiday Hotel.
Utilizing this lull, the FDC president attempted to march to Kakyeka stadium with his supporters but was teargassed back to Grand Hotel.
There he demanded to have one of his drivers a one Nasur Basalirwa released before he could vacate.
He eventually left at about 8:00 PM after the UPDF and Police surrounded the hotel withdrew.
While addressing a campaign rally in Isingiro town, Amuriat had warned that nothing will stall their efforts to bring about change this time round.
“Change in this country is inevitable. It is going to happen whether Mr Museveni wants it or not. This change is like a pregnant seed. Mr. Museveni can try to hide it but the baby in the woman’s stomach will grow,” he said.
The FDC Presidential candidate is today expected to campaign in Mitooma District.