Police in Kampala have fired tear gas and arrested at least 20 supporters of National Unity Platform (NUP) led by Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagukanyi alias Bobi Wine for allegedly holding a procession demanding the arrest of socialite Charles Olim alias Sipapa.
Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson, SP Patrick Onyango, on Thursday said the protesters, numbered about 40, had blocked the Old Kira Road with logs as they burned tyres to prevent any other road user to access it.
"National Unity Platform (People Power) supporters dressed in their red attire in a group of about 40 mobilized by Mr Fred Nyanzi Sentamu [Bobi Wine's brother] carried out a procession holding placards demanding for the arrest of Charles Olim alias Sipapa for the two incidents of shooting of August 30 and September 15, 2020 at their offices at Contafrica zone Kamwokya II Parish Central Division in Kampala City," Mr Onyango said.
According to SP Onyango, the NUP supporters vowed to continue demonstrating until Sipapa, a sworn supporter of President Museveni and the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, is arrested.
He said those arrested will be charged with illegal procession after their files are processed and submitted to Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
"All tyres used in the demonstration were picked from Nyanzi's building. According to intelligence reports received, more tyres are being ferried. Police has restored order in the area and business has returned to normal. We want to urge NUP supporters that the government has institutions where they can channel their grievances other than taking the law in their hands," Mr Onyango added.
However, NUP spokesperson, Mr Joel Ssenyonyi told journalists in Kamwokya that police had failed to provide them with security against the socialite who has been frequenting their offices armed and provoking NUP supporters.
"Sipapa has become notorious. This is the third time he's come in the area and fired bullets. The other time he fired bullets at the NUP gate and even injured one of the party supporters but when police came, they just escorted him away nicely instead of arresting him. Today, he had planned to come here again. I understand he had sent his cars and an advance team and that's when people started protesting. Police has failed to do their job of protecting our lives and property," said Ssenyonyi.
"They should tell us whether we are on our own so that we find alternatives of protecting ourselves because our people will not be killed as we look on."