Teargas and live fire rocked Rukungiri town on Monday as police engaged in running battles with Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) leaders and supporters who were trying to hold a banned prayer event.
The prayers and thanksgiving was organized by the FDC leadership in Rukungiri in honour of party member Edison Kakuru, who was shot last year during a rally.
Police arrested a number of FDC leaders including the party chief mobilizer Ingrid Turinawe Kamatenti, Innocent Tashobya the Rukungiri Municipality Deputy Speaker and a host of other FDC supporters that were picked from the district FDC offices.
The opposition members had decided to hold the prayers at the party offices after the stadium was cordoned off by police.
The event was also meant to raise money for the torture victims and those that have been arrested in the opposition struggle.
The police officers forced their way into the party offices, by breaking the padlocks outside. They also used teargas and fired in the air to fend off some of the angry supporters at the officers
The officers then grabbed the FDC leaders and bundled them in the waiting police cars and whisked away taking the Ntungamo route.
Elly Maate the Kigezi Regional Spokesman says the operation was intended to stop an illegal assembly as the organizers had not fulfilled the requirements stipulated in the Public Order Management Act, so they couldn’t allow them to carry out their hidden agenda.
Some of the FDC leaders who had arrived in Rukungiri for the event included former party president Col Dr Kizza Besigye and current president Patrick Oboi Amuriat, both of whom were not allowed to leave the former’s house in Rwakabengo in Rukungiri Municipality.
We also learnt that the district security committee was engaged in a closed door meeting with the opposition leaders including the party chairperson for Rukungiri Virginia Kyarugahe, Rukungiri municipality MP Roland Kaginda Mugume and Rujumbura county MP Fred Turyamuhweza.