Katumba Bans LC5 Campaign Processions

By Vision Reporter

THE Police has banned campaign processions in Kampala and other parts of the country following a spate of campaign violence by frenzied supporters of rival candidates.

By Geoffrey Kamali and Joyce Namutebi THE Police has banned campaign processions in Kampala and other parts of the country following a spate of campaign violence by frenzied supporters of rival candidates. Police chief, Maj. Gen. Katumba Wamala, warned in a statement yesterday that whoever is found organising or participating in such processions will be arrested and prosecuted. “All processions to and from venues of rallies have been banned with immediate effect,” the statement, signed by deputy Police spokesman, John Kimera, said. After a rally at Lugogo yesterday, supporters of incumbent mayor John Ssebaana and Wasswa Ziritwawula yesterday defied the ban on processions. The Town Clerk and Kampala Returning Officer, Gordon Mwesigye, told yesterday’s rally that Police had banned processions. “Police has told you not to move in processions when you leave here,” Mwesigye said amid protests from the crowd. The ban on the processions followed clashes between various candidates’ supporters in Kampala and other parts of the country, particularly Iganga and Mbale. Police blames the violence on the candidates. Mathias Nsubuga, Ssebaana’s political assistant, told The New Vision last evening that the ban was unilateral and unacceptable. He said Katumba Wamala imposed the ban without consulting the candidates or even the Electoral Commission. He said they had agreed on ways of holding the procession during a joint candidates’ meeting at the Commission before the campaigns started. “We hold processions to protect our supporters when they are leaving the rallies. We want to move as a group because when supporters move individually they are harassed,” Nsubuga said. Kenneth Paul Kakande from Ssebaana’s camp told The New Vision that they would continue with the processions. “It’s our constitutional right. We are going ahead with the procession,” he said. At the end of yesterday’s rally Ssebaana’s supporters left in two processions, one headed towards the city centre and another towards Naguru. On Saturday, seven people were hurt, two of them severely, when violence erupted between Ssebaana and Ziritwawula’s supporters. Two of the victims were Peterson Ratete, a student of Tropical School, Kansanga, and Peter Otim, a Uganda Railways Corporation employee. Albert Ochieng, the DPC, Katwe, said Ratete was hit with a stone on the head and bled profusely as he was being taken to Nsambya Hospital while Otim was beaten all over with sticks. In Iganga, the Police had to disperse a crowd when rowdy supporters started throwing stones during the last joint LC5 campaign rally at Iganga High School on Saturday. Four people are gunning for the seat. In Mbale, 30 people were injured on Saturday. The incumbent LC5 boss Charles Walimbwa was hit by a supporter of his rival. Ziritwawula yesterday blamed the fracas on his rival’s supporters, whom he accused of attacking his supporters first. But Nsubuga said Ziritwawula’s supporters included veterans who allegedly were armed. Ends

Katumba Bans LC5 Campaign Processions