Residents protest arrest of Activists

Police on Monday fired teargas to disperse to disperse residents of Kijura cell in Masindi town who were protesting the arrest of two activists. Two people suspected to be part of the protestors were arrested and detained at Masindi Police. The Buyaga west MP Barnabas Tinkasimire has joined over 50 other residents at Masindi Police Station accling upon police to release the suspects.
The residents are protesting the arrest of former Masindi LC5 contestant Mr Kanti Rogers and Jonathan Akweteireho, a journalist turned civic activist and administrator Masindi news network (MANET).

Kanti was arrested on Friday while Mr Akweteireho was arrested on Saturday when he went to Masindi central police station to secure bail for Mr Kanti.
The two are accused of kick starting a campaign to solicit a million signatures in Bunyoro to raise a petition to parliament demanding for the tarmacking of Kigumba-Masindi-Hoima-Kyenjojo road.
On Sunday, the residents in the morning blocked the main road with tree branches and posters which read “no road no vote”.
However the residents fled from the scene when they saw police detectives backed by Anti-riot police and military police were moving closer to them.
Led by the officer in charge Masindi police station, security officers stormed the area and forced the people around to remove tree branches from the road.
The Midwestern Regional Police spokesperson Ms Lydia Tumushabe said some of the suspects face arrested face charges of inciting violence. She said they will be produced in Court as soon as investigations are complete.
Several civil society activists and residents kept police officers busy over the weekend demanding police to grant them bond.
The Midwestern Region Centre for Democracy and Human rights (MICOD) programme Officer Mr Nasser Biira Kiwanuka and other civil society activists protested the arrest.

“This road must be tarmacked or we all rot in jail. I know, this and many others issues shall be used by the myopic politicians in Bunyoro to groom political intolerance. Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit,” Mr Kiwanuka who is among the petitioners for the road said.
He said arresting the duo does not stop the signing of the petition and it doesn’t stop activists from finalizing the drafting of the petition.
“It instead reenergizes us to work pretty harder for the realization of our dreams. Punishment is now unfashionable. Imprisonment is a motivation to the rest of us to work towards the emancipation of our motherland” he added.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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