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MP Ssemujju Nganda violently arrested

Kyadondo East MP, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda was this afternoon detained at Kira Town Council Police Station, after being violently apprehended at Bweyogerere trading centre, where he had planned to hold a rally.

He was arrested at 2PM at Bweyogerere as he talked to his supporters. Police had deployed heavily in the trading centre and many shops remained closed. Earlier in the morning, Ssemujju had been put under preventive arrest at his home in Kirinya, three kilometers from Bweyogerere.

Police later relented after the MP told them he had to perform his Jumaa prayers at a nearby mosque. His arrest was dramatic and executed violently. In the ensuing scuffle as he tried to resist arrest, the legislator’s jacket was torn before he was carried off the ground by three officers. They bundled him into a waiting police pick up and drove him to Kira Town Council Police Station at break neck speed.

Meanwhile other officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse his supporters who had started throwing stones at them. Ssemujju says that around 9 o’clock this morning, the DPC of Kira went to his house with a letter from Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander Andrew Felix Kaweesi. In the letter, Kaweesi said the rally would be permitted unless Ssemujju first wrote to the police.

He would have to submit to the police, for approval, the content of the speech and the names of guests invited. The content of the speech was not, in any way, to be similar to speeches that have been made at previous A4C and 4GC rallies.

Second time unlucky

Ssemujju was previously arrested in on September 25, as he attempted to hold a consultative  rally at Kireka, in Kampala. Then the police said it had banned all rallies and marches because terrorists could use them to disrupt the country’s 50th independence anniversary celebrations, which climaxed on October 9.

Petition

Ssemujju says he recently received a petition from 16 out of 21 councillors at Kira town council, complaining about excessive corruption at the council. The petition is now with Parliament; but Ssemujju says he wanted to report back to his constituents and explain to them why it takes time for Parliaments’ investigations.

“I also wanted to explain to the people the processes involved because some do not know that a lot of money is sent to the council to give them services,” he said.

Ssemujju says when the speaker was sending MPs into recess, she urged them to consult their constituents and return for business on November 3. Now, he argues, his consultation process has been sabotaged by the police

At the time of writing he was still being interrogated but was expected to be released later in the evening.

ekiggundu@observer.ug

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