28 November 2018

Uganda: 48 Arrested in FDC, Police Clash

Police have said they are holding 48 people over allegations of inciting violence and other offences committed in Rukungiri District on Monday when Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) tried to hold a function.

Kigezi Region Police commander Richard Ecega yesterday said they are being detained in Rukungiri, Ntungamo and Kabale districts. He said they will be charged in Rukungiri court with inciting violence and other offences depending on the evidence available.

"I hope on Wednesday (today) morning all the accused persons shall be taken to court for prosecution for the offences they committed. For now, the situation in Rukungiri Town is normal," Mr Ecega said.

Those detained

The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) secretary for mobilisation, Ms Ingrid Turinawe, and Rukungiri Municipality Deputy Speaker Innocent Tashobya are among the 11 people being detained at Ntungamo Police Station.

Mr Ecega said he was nursing bruises he got when he was hit by stones thrown by the demonstrators.

The FDC chairperson for Rukungiri District, Ms Virginia Kyarugahe, said the number of party supporters arrested during the standoff with police on Monday could be more than what has been revealed.

"More people are missing, their relatives and friends are coming to our offices looking for them and we are looking for their whereabouts," Ms Kyarugahe said.

Police on Monday stopped FDC party members from convening at Rukungiri stadium for thanksgiving prayers.

There was heavy deployment on the streets of Rukungiri Town including around the home of Dr Kizza Besigye in Rwakabengo Cell and the stadium.

The party had planned to hold thanksgiving prayers for people who were injured and killed on October 8 last year in Rukungiri when police fought with Opposition supporters, stopping them from holding a rally at the stadium to speak against government plan to amend presidential age limits.

Edson Nasasira, 22, was shot dead. David Junior Ayorekire, Farouk Bangirana, Julius Turyomunsi, Naris Muhumuza and Christopher Mwebaze were shot in lower abdomen and limbs while Davison Aryansingura was injured in the face by a tear gas canister.

They were treated at Nyakibare Hospital in Rukungiri Municipality.

While police later admitted that Nasasira was shot dead as the autopsy revealed, they maintained that they never shot the rest.

Kigezi Region Police Spokesperson Elly Matte said the function was stopped because FDC did not follow the legal procedures.

However, Ms Turinawe said they had fulfilled all the requirements of Public Order Management Act and they would go ahead with thanksgiving prayers.

Money collected from function was supposed to go to those who were injured in the October 8, 2017, Opposition-police scuffle in Rukungiri, families of those in prison and family of late Nasasira.

Background

FDC had planned to hold thanksgiving prayers for people who were injured and killed on October 8 last year in Rukungiri when police fought with Opposition supporters, stopping them from holding a rally at the stadium to speak against government plan to amend presidential age limits.

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