National Unity Platform-NUP party president, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine has vowed to continue with his countrywide mobilisation tours despite a ban from the Uganda Police Force. Speaking to journalists at his offices in Kampala Thursday, Kyagulanyi said the police orders can’t be respected because they are extra-legal.
On Wednesday, the police issued a statement signed by the deputy Inspector General of police Tumusiime Katsigazi banning NUP’s tours, saying they had veered off what had been agreed upon before the police allowed them to go ahead two weeks ago. Kyagulanyi said the police have no right to grant or deny permission to anybody to assemble publicly.
He said in their communication, they were not seeking permission like Katsigazi said but were simply informing them about their activities as prescribed by law. He said they are not going to respect any orders that are not anchored on the law.
Kyagulanyi said it was disturbing that Katsigizi’s statement looked like a statement from an NRM functionalist, not the police who ought to be neutral in political contestation.
In the police statement, Katsigazi said they can’t allow NUP tours to go on because while addressing people in the Luweero district, Kyagulanyi allegedly attacked President Museveni and threatened to overthrow an elected government.
“In Kasana-Luweero, the mobilization activity was used to incite violence, promote sectarianism, make illegitimate calls for the removal of an elected government, and issuance of defamatory statements against the person of The President of the Republic of Uganda. In view of the above blatant breaches of the guidelines, the activities of the NUP are immediately suspended, the statement reads in part.
But Kyagulanyi said if indeed he broke any law, let the police take him to court other than them trying to be the complainant, the judge, and the executioner. The police also hinted at the fact that Kyagulanyi’s life and that of his supporters might be in danger because of the recent bomb scares. But Kyagulanyi said if there is anybody against his life it’s Museveni’s security forces.
Kyagulanyi also said although they are not violent people, they are not willing to stop their activities simply because of fear of the violence that might be visited on them as we have seen in the past where the security and NUP have disagreed.
Kyagulanyi also said the accusation that they have been violent and disrespected other road users is all negative propaganda to justify the ban. “Our people have been peaceful, but the people blocking roads for hours it has been Museveni and his people. What happened in Hoima where one person died was purely an accident. So, the police should stop exercising double standards; they are scared because they are working for the regime. Our business is to remove the Museveni government because it’s illegitimate and we have never been shy of saying this, “ Kyagulanyi said.
Kyagulanyi embarked on a national tour that saw him visit a number of places including, Mayuge, Busia, Mbale, Mbarara, Kasese, Kabale, Arua, and Luweero among others. In all these places he visited thousands turned up to hear his message. He has said they are to resume the second leg of the tour in three weeks’ time. He is yet to announce the places, which are to be toured.