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Police battles Besigye supporters

By Vision Reporter

Added 13th May 2011 03:00 AM

Forum for Democratic leader Kizza Besigye returned home yesterday.
His supporters paralyzed traffic along Entebbe road.

Forum for Democratic leader Kizza Besigye returned home yesterday.
His supporters paralyzed traffic along Entebbe road.


By BARBARA AMONG

Forum for Democratic leader Kizza Besigye returned home yesterday.
His supporters paralyzed traffic along Entebbe road.

The 45-minute journey from Entebbe to Kampala took him nine hours. It was characterized by intermittent clashes between the security forces and his supporters.

The heads of state returning from President Yoweri Museveni’s inauguration in Kampala went through confusion without incident.

Besigye, who was first blocked from flying home on Wednesday over what the airline described as “security reasons”, arrived at 9am, aboard Kenya Airways.

Upon his arrival, the opposition leader said he was happy that he had returned home and maintained that he was ready to continue with the protests related to the rising cost of living.

“We shall definitely walk if there is walk-to-work or if there is any other form of protest,” said Besigye. But he urged his supporters to avoid violence.

At 10:23am, Besigye’s convoy, consisting of five cars drove out of Entebbe airport. At Kitoro, five kilometres from the airport, Besigye was welcomed by supporters as the Police monitored the situation.

The supporters flashed the party’s V-sign while following the convoy. At Gateway trading centre, the police and Military Police tried to block the crowd that was now growing in vain.

The supporters sang, danced as Besigye headed to Kampala at snail speed.

The opposition leader wearing a blue shirt, and sunglasses and a Walk to Work banner, waved to his supporters. Occasionally he smiled and said: “Thank you”. He was accompanied by his wife Winnie Byanyima.

Besigye’s convoy kept swelling as he approached Kampala making the work of the Police hard. At Abaita Ababiri, anti-riot police and military Police, again tried to disperse the people, but in vain.

The first sign of trouble came at Kisubi trading centre, where motorcycles riders, commonly called Boda-boda blocked the road and demanded that Besigye address them. At this point, a cyclist also fell off a motor cycle.

The Police fired tear gas to clear the road. The supporters responded by pelting the security officers with stones, smashing the rear window of the Police patrol vehicle.

After a brief stand-off, the crowd regrouped, as the Besigye convoy proceeded to Kampala.

The military Police failed to convince Besigye to drive off under escort to Nsambya where he was scheduled to attend thanksgiving prayers.

Besigye’s convoy was again briefly held up in Kawuku after Police and Military failed to agree on which route to take to Kampala. Police had the previous day agreed with Besigye’s team that he would take the main highway to the city. However, the military wanted him to go via the Nakawuka diversion.

Later, Besigye was let to proceed straight to the city.
At Seguku, Besigye’s convoy met President Yoweri Museveni’s motorcade and his visitors heading to State House, Entebbe from Kololo swearing-in, without any major incident.

At Lweza, however, other visiting Presidents Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, Premier Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia and President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe were slowed down by the crowd.

However, the Police had to use tear gas to clear the way for Southern Sudan President Salvar Kiir’s convoy.

At the Kibuye roundabout, the supporters regrouped prompting the Police to use tear gas, blue liquid and live ammunition to dispersed them.

Despite this, Besigye reached the Nsambya railway ground at about 7:00pm, where he addressed his supporters for about 10 minutes. Thereafter, the Police escorted him to his home in Kasangati.



Police battles Besigye supporters

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