State Minister for Internal Affairs, Mario Obiga Kania has said Police had no option but to disperse Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) supporters during their procession early this month, after breaching a number of guidelines.
On November 4th 2019, Police tear gassed FDC supporters at Kireka after their planned 15th anniversary celebrations at Namboole stadium were cancelled.
In the melee, former party president Dr Kizza Besigye was hit with high pressure water and nearly thrown off his car roof where he stood waving to supporters.
Minister Kania however, told MPs today that three days to the aborted conference, the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Asuman Mugyenyi had advised FDC on four issues.
In his letter, he said, Mugyenyi asked to be availed with proof of permission from stadium authorities and the day’s programme to allow Police make necessary arrangements.
However, to his dismay, on that day, Hon Semujju Nganda who was the convener ignored Police calls and proceeded to erect tents at the Namboole stadium ground.
On the D-Day, upon realizing that the venue had been sealed off by security basing on intelligence, the minister said about 500 FDC leaders led by Kizza Besigye then opted to head to the Party Headquarters in Najjanankumbi.
“In the process, these rowdy crowds who were shouting their popular Twerwaneko slogan blocked traffic and were intercepted at Kireka Farmer’s market,” he said.
Kania disclosed that Besigye was given a lead car to whisk him away from the fracas which he rejected and did not heed calls to lead a procession.
“By then Dr Kiiza Besigye had emerged as the de facto leader of the Procession, Police therefore engaged him. He was even offered a lead car in order to give way to other road users,” Kania intimated.
Meanwhile, the minister says supporters turned rabid, injuring Corporal Bwiho Anthony a police driver and Police Constables; Maliyamungu Denis and Christopher Oyet.
As such, he says Police moved to tow Dr. Besigye’s vehicle thrice but failed on three occasions due to rear and front hooks that had been removed deliberately in anticipation of Police’s actions.
Kania said Besigye then defiantly drove and parked at Spear Motors Nakawa, paralyzing traffic something that police could not accept.
“Police had no choice but to use reasonable force to remove Dr Besigye and other occupants out of the vehicle”, Kania explained.
“This action on the part of police is provided for in section 3 subsection 2 of the criminal procedure code Act (Cap 176) and section 27 subsections 2(b) of the Police Act (Cap 303),” he added.