Police in Mbarara on Wednesday blocked the Voice of Movement (VOM) from carrying out a sensitisation campaign ahead of President Museveni’s visit to the area.
VOM leaders said they expected Museveni in Mbarara town on Sunday, to preside over the Western Region NRM trade fair, organised by VOM. They, therefore, wanted to conduct activities such as cleaning Mbarara town, to popularise the visit and consolidate Museveni’s support.
But police, acting on the orders of deputy Resident District Commissioner Moses Mwebesa, blocked the activists, who had first gathered at Independence park to donate blood before proceeding to the streets. The deputy RDC had earlier described the group as illegal and ordered them out of Mbarara district.
The officer in charge of Mbarara police station, Lugene Magyezi, allowed VOM to donate blood in the park but warned them of arrest if they ventured onto Mbarara streets. Joy Katamba, the group national coordinator, accused Mwebesa of frustrating VOM, and urged President Museveni to transfer him from the district.
Jomo Mugabe, the Mbarara district NRM party chairperson, who addressed the group at the Independence park, said the party knew the group, but its programme was not clear to leaders and security personnel.
However, Mwebesa told The Observer that VOM was illegal because it was not known anywhere. He said there were allegations that the group was collecting money from the public without authority from the relevant bodies.
Asked if a voluntary group was not allowed to support NRM, Mwebesa said: “We are not against any volunteer group coming up to support the Movement or any party but they need to be known and recommended by the party structures.”
He said the group was lying to the public that Museveni was due to visit them yet he, as an RDC, was not aware of such a visit.
Source : The Observer