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Bukomansimbi Police disperse People Power supporters

By Eddie Ssejjoba

Added 4th December 2019 09:40 PM

The police, armed with guns and batons arrived at the venue at about 30:30PM and dispersed the crowd at Bigasa Playground, arrested some of the organizers and confiscated machines and other music items as several artistes took to their heels to avoid arrest.

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The police, armed with guns and batons arrived at the venue at about 30:30PM and dispersed the crowd at Bigasa Playground, arrested some of the organizers and confiscated machines and other music items as several artistes took to their heels to avoid arrest.

Several members of the People Power group were on today (Monday) still in hiding after the police on Friday stormed a music concert in Bukomansimbi district and dispersed the crowds, accusing them of turning it into a political rally.

The police, armed with guns and batons arrived at the venue at about 30:30PM and dispersed the crowd at Bigasa Playground, arrested some of the organizers and confiscated machines and other music items as several artistes took to their heels to avoid arrest.

Hamiduh Sseremba, the main organizer of the concert dubbed ‘Sseremba Agabudde’, together with People Power national youth coordinator and Mityana Municipality legislator, Francis Zaake and other politicians from Kampala and Greater Masaka who had previously addressed the crowd but got a tip-off and fled from the scene moments before the police arrived.

 usician eoffrey utaaya performing on stage before the police disparsed the crowd at igasa layground Musician Geoffrey Lutaaya performing on stage before the police dispersed the crowd at Bigasa Playground

Witnesses revealed that musician Geoffrey Lutaaya was still performing on stage when a police patrol vehicle arrived with armed personnel, ending the event prematurely, scattering the crowd.

Overwhelmed local police personnel from Bigasa Police post, however, looked on for the large part of the morning as youths dressed in red attires and putting on red tops moved around the Trading Center with hand loudspeakers, calling upon residents to turn up and check and verify their names in the voters’ registers.   

Zaake used the occasion to launch a team of coordinators to mobilize support in the region.

The Greater Masaka police spokesman, Paul Kangavve confirmed that the police had stopped the rally but was unable to give details, saying he was still unable to get in touch with the area District Police Commander(DPC), Sowedi Manisuli, who he said was locked up in a security meeting at the district headquarters.

 usician eoffrey utaaya at igasa rading entre before the police disparsed the crowd Musician Geoffrey Lutaaya at Bigasa Trading Centre before the police dispersed the crowd

 
A letter addressed to the DPC seen by the New Vision, dated November 26 asked for permission and security to hold a live music show in the playground. It was signed by Abrah Tamale of Tamale Promotions.  Several artistes had been lined up to perform at the event including Mathias Walukagga, Abdul Mulaasi but the two were unable to reach the stage after they fled the scene.

“We promise to hold with all the regulations from your office. We shall be very grateful for your response,” the letter reads in parts.   

Sseremba said some of his members who had been arrested were on Sunday released on a bond including Fred Ssenkumba, Andrew Katende, David Ssekyanzi, and Herman Lubega.

“I’m still in hiding with my colleagues, we got information that the police are looking for us. No reason was given for dispersing the meeting but we learned that the police bosses from Bukomansimbi were not happy that we diverted from the concert and turned it into a political rally,” Sseremba said on phone.

He said he had been cleared by the police but was surprised that it was later branded an illegal assembly.

Zulaikah Nalukenge, one of the organizers said several people including women and children were injured as they ran away.

She, however, said they had to use the concert to address the people since the police had previously blocked them from holding a political meeting in the area.

“We now organize our meetings through music concerts, they (police) will not allow us to launch our political programs and mobilize support but it was unfortunate that our messages were interrupted,” she stated.   

Ssekyanzi who spoke to New Vision after he was released from police at Bukomansimbi said the government had not done enough to mobilize people to check out and verify their names in the voter's register and offered to use the concert to mobilize them in big numbers.      

“Government thinks everyone has access to a radio or television to know what they are supposed to do, we offered to their job without any pay,” one of the People Power members was heard telling villagers.

 

 

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