Police in Fort Portal blocked a demonstration by a group of Tooro youth against a resolution backing President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as NRM’s sole presidential candidate in forth coming elections.
On May 9, leaders in the Tooro sub-region met Museveni at Kalya courts in Fort Portal and they unanimously backed him as the National Resistance Movement (NRM’s) sole presidential candidate in 2021 polls.
However, this did not go down well with some of the youth in the sub-region. They, on May 13, wrote to the inspector general of police (IGP) Martins Okoth Ochola, requesting for security clearance to hold a peaceful demonstration against the resolution in Fort Portal town.
Thomas Kakuru, one of the mobilizers of the demonstration, said they were about 100 in number and had planned to hold the demonstration on Monday, May 20. However, they did not get any response to the letter. But by the time they took to the streets, police had already deployed and they were warned that if they attempted to demonstrate, they would all be arrested.
According to the Kabarole district police commander (DPC), Jamal Kanyesigye, they blocked the demonstration because they hadn’t been informed about it and deemed it illegal.
Kakuru said that since they have already written to IGP Ochola and did not get a response, they are now giving police up to Thursday this week to respond to their request else they will go to court for legal redress. Holding protests in the country has lately become a contentious issue - with police often accused of illegally blocking demonstrations using the Public Order Management Act. (POMA).