28 July 2015

Uganda: Besigye Supporters, Police Clash At Rally

Mbarara — There was chaos in Mbarara Municipality on Sunday when Dr Kizza Besigye's supporters clashed with police after a rally at Booma Grounds.

Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse hundreds of Dr Besigye's enthusiastic supporters who had resisted an order stopping them from making a procession through Mbarara Town as they accompanied him after the rally.

Police instead wanted the supporters to take Mbarara-Kabale road as they left the venue.

There was a standstill for more than 30 minutes near the RDC's office, but as numbers swelled, police fired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets to disperse them.

In retaliation, the supporters hurled whatever objects they could lay their hands on at the officers and engaged in running battles while following Dr Besigye who drove through Mbarara Town to Grand Holiday Hotel in Kakoba Division.

At Grand Holiday Hotel, Dr Besigye described police's actions as signs of a falling regime and that people should not be threatened by such acts but instead become more determined to vote out the regime.

"This government is ruling with impunity. Imagine police said the numbers were big and could not allow the procession. Didn't they want people to go back home? All this impunity will end. I urge my people not to give up because of such intimidation," said Dr Besigye.

But Mr Hilary Kulaige, the Rwizi region police commander, said police dispersed the procession, because Dr Besigye's supporters disobeyed lawful orders and were turning violent.

The former FDC president is on a countrywide tour seeking endorsement as the party flag bearer in 2016 presidential election.

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