Police has heavily deployed in Rukungiri town ahead of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) prayers scheduled for this afternoon at the Rukungiri Municipal Stadium, which police had banned.
The prayer event was organized by the Rukungiri District FDC leadership led by their chairperson Virginia Kyarugahe.
Several bigshots in the opposition party had already arrived in Rukungiri for the event, among them Col. Dr Kizza Besigye and party president Patrick Amuriat.
Party members wanted to use the event to among others pray for the late Edson Nasasira, a party member who was shot dead during a rally against the proposed constitutional amendment of the presidential age limit last year in October.
Moses Nanoka, the Rukungiri DPC says however that the prayer event was not cleared by police and is therefore illegal.
Elly Maate, Kigezi Regional Police Spokesperson told us the police wrote to the FDC leadership informing them about the decision, yet the party seemed to continue with preparations.
“We have written to the secretary general of the party; we believe he received our letter,” Maate said.
He added that whereas the FDC leadership wrote to the Inspector General of Police, informing him about the prayers on 14th November, they did not specify who the organizers are in accordance with the Public Order Management Act.
“The letter lacked particulars of the organizers, meaning that police in Rukungiri didn’t know who they would be working with to secure the event,” Maate said.
Ingrid Turinawe, the FDC Secretary for Mobilization however, insists that they fulfilled the requirements as stated in the Public Order Management Act and that the event will be held as scheduled.
Dr Kizza Besigye whose house in Rukungiri town was barricaded by police this morning slammed government for wasting resources on persecuting the opposition.
“Instead of providing badly needed security and policing services to Ugandans they have instead heavily deployed in various parts of Rukungiri to stop an innocent, peaceful thanksgiving function,” he said.