Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party President Mugisha Muntu and Fr Gaetano Batanyenda were on Friday arrested and detained for hours at Ntungamo Police Station but were later released.
They were arrested from Kabale Town at around 3.30pm after police blocked a meeting they had convened to launch a campaign for electoral reforms in Kigezi sub-region.They were driven to Ntungamo in a police vehicle at around 5.20pm.
Ealier in the day, Maj Gen Muntu and former FDC president Kizza Besigye, were blocked by police from addressing a meeting in Kabale Town. The opposition leaders and members of the civil society organisations were scheduled to launch the campaign for electoral reforms in Kigezi Sub-region at Hilltop Hotel. The meeting was hosted by Kick Corruption Out of Kigezi, a local NGO.
olice, under the district police commander, Mr Bosco Arop, patrolled Kabale Town from Thursday through to Friday. There was heavy police deployment around Hilltop Hotel and Hotel Home Again where Dr Besigye was scheduled to have lunch.
olice kept trailing his vehicle and later surrounded it at Hotel Home Again at around 2:30pm, blocking him from getting out. The police then sent for a break-down truck to tow his vehicle.
When the break-down truck arrived, Dr Besigye’s driver drove off, following Kabale -Mbarara road. Dr Besigye emerged through the open roof and flashed his party’s V-sign to the cheering crowds.
“We called off this meeting because it was illegal as the organisers did not involve us in making the programme and identifying a suitable venue,” Mr Arop said.Gen Mugisha Muntu, who was also at the hotel, had a verbal spat with policemen when they blocked him from the venue. Hilltop Hotel was a no-go area as it remained under tight police cordon.
Gen Muntu mocked the police to join him in the struggle instead of siding with the oppressor. The chairman for Kick Corruption Out of Kigezi, Fr Gaetano Batanyenda, accused the police of serving individual interests rather than the country. He also castigated the police and other security functionaries in Kabale for pulling the radio programme off air on Thursday.
Earlier confrontationsRadio programme cancelled. The previous day, Maj Gen Muntu and opposition activist Bishop Zac Niringiye had been pulled off a talk show on Voice of Kigezi by police, hardly 30 minutes into the programme. Two other local FM stations were ordered not to host the opposition politicians, whom the police claimed would incite the people against the government.
olice’s take. Police spokesman for Kigezi region, Mr Elly Maate, said the radio talk show was called off because it was moblising people for an illegal meeting.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor