How Besigye beat police cordon to Kayunga


Kampala. Police on Tuesday deployed early on various routes to Kayunga District to block former presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye and a host of other politicians as well as activists from launching an anti-land grabbing campaign in the area.
Police also confiscated tents and other equipment supposed to be used by the activists to launch the “My Land, My Life” campaign in the district, many say, is the mecca of land grabbing in the country. The activists remained defiant.
The district has for many years been hotbed for squabbles between land owners and tenants, occasionally culminating into violence.
Unknown to many of the activists and journalists who camped at his Kasangati home, Dr Besigye, left his home in a car belonging to his former aide and Buhweju MP Francis Mwijukye. Some of the activists and journalists who inquired why Mr Mwijukye had left were told he is sick and would be unable to join the team heading to Kayunga.

The remaining team which had Dr Besigye’s personal vehicle, Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago’s vehicle and FDC party national mobiliser Ingrid Turinawe also left shortly via Gayaza road.

Police officers stand guard at Ssezibwa Bridge

Police officers stand guard at Ssezibwa Bridge in Kayunga District where they had raised a barricade to block Dr Besigye yesterday. Photo by Rachel Mabala

At Ssezibwa Bridge, police led by the Savannah Regional Police spokesperson Lameck Kigozi blocked a convoy en route to Bbaale town where the campaign rally had been planned.
Mr Lukwago, MPs Moses Kasibante(Rubaga North) and Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West) kept police officers who had concentrated their strength on barricades at all roads leading into the district engaged. They were buying Dr Besigye and the other activists time to make it, undetected to Kayunga. Mr Lukwago assured journalists that the rally would go on.
Mr Kigozi demanded that the politicians produce a clearance permit from the Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura allowing them to hold the said rally.

Dr Besigye’s advance team led by former Kumi County Patrick Amuriat Oboi arrived at the rally venue shortly before 5pm. At this point, about three police officers at the venue tried in vain to stop the proceedings.
One of the officials privy to Dr Besigye’s movement told this newspaper that they had to take village paths at some point to evade police. Meanwhile, Kawempe South MP, Mubarak Munyagwa kept on assuring the crowd at Bbale grounds that Dr Besigye was on his way.

Police deployed at Ssezibwa Bridge in Kayunga.

Police deployed at Ssezibwa Bridge in Kayunga. Photo by Rachel Mabala

Dr Besigye arrived at the grounds after 6pm with the crowd that had assembled waving at him.

In his address, Dr Besigye, said after selling off nearly all state enterprises in the 1990s, the [NRM] government was out of things to take over and now was after people’s land which he urged them to defend.
“The one who stops you from knowing those who steal your land is part of those who steal your land,” he noted, taking a swipe at a police, which he accused of always working with the powerful to evict people from their land.
Midway through his address, Kayunga District police commander, Moses Bwire, arrived with Police officers and people started dispersing but Dr Besigye assured them that police officers were there to protect them because they [people] are the bosses and police officers are their “servants.”

A police officer in verbal exchange with

A police officer in verbal exchange with Kawempe South MP, Mubarak Munyagwa. Photo by Rachel Mabala

A man donning a yellow t-shirt and claiming to be a manager of a one Kalangwa survived being lynched after he started caning people at the rally venue.
After the rally, Dr Besigye engaged different crowds at various stop overs at in Kayonza, Kitimbwa and Kayunga town. Police, however, did not allow these to take place. Instead the officers dispersed the crowds that had gathered by shooting in the air. They also lobbed tear gas canisters at the crowd.

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