Government issues a statement in parliament on the walk to work protests. It says this is a ploy by the opposition to hijack the swearing in ceremony. But the opposition say they have no time to topple the government. They are instead asking government to do something about the escalating prices of essential commodities.
Kirunda Kivejinja, the Internal Affairs minister, claims the ‘walk to work’ campaign is intended to stir respite ahead of the presidential swearing in ceremony scheduled for May.
The second phase of ‘Walk to work’ campaign resumed Thursday with several arrests of opposition politicians.
Today saw another struggle between opposition protestors in various parts of Kampala. Some politicians and ordinary citizens have been injured in the scuffle.
In a statement to parliament this afternoon, Kivejinja said government is aware that some political leaders want to sustain the campaign to mess up the swearing in ceremony. He noted that this would be hijacking the people’s verdict set out by the outcome of general elections on February 18.
Kivejinja noted that Ugandans will not allow unconstitutional means to change government.
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Kivejinja claims government has noted a systematic move by the opposition to conduct unnecessary demonstrations even before the elections. The opposition has been conducting campaigns against the electoral commission; statements like Besigye will not seek court redress on elections and also declared unofficial results of the elections, are some of indicators that the opposition is determined to oust government, said the minister.
Kivejinja faulted the ‘walk to work’ demonstrators for failing to follow guidelines on demonstrations and processions. Under the guidelines, any organization willing to conduct a procession or demonstrate should first seek police permission and agree on routes to follow.
According to Kivejinja, the Monday ‘walk to work’ protestors failed to involve the police that is why police acted the way they did.
Kivejinja also accused demonstration organizers for planting people in particular locations to cause chaos in the city center. He pointed out that some politicians like Mathias Nsubuga, the DP Secretary General is a resident of Rubaga but was arrested together with other people in Ntinda, a Kampala Suburb.
Alice Alaso, Soroti woman MP argued that the ‘walk to work’ is a show of solidarity and not demonstration by the opposition. She says that government is firing at the wrong people. This is because government has failed to address the underlying factors causing the demonstrations.
But Aruu County MP, Odonga Otto and Elijah Okupa, Kasilo MP were unhappy with the developments and excessive police action.
Otto on the other hand says police and military action could pave way for war unless government takes appropriate action. Otto says he will participate in war against the government if an opportunity avails itself.
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Equally angered by the police brutality was Justine Lumumba, Bugiri woman MP. She was quick to point out that police is giving undue publicity to the demonstrators saying it is uncalled for police to teargas school compounds.
Lumumba said Government should treat the opposition in a better manner, even when they conduct demonstrations.
She questioned what government is doing to resolve these problems of high fuel prices, food and the skyrocketing inflation rates. Lumumba emphasised the need for government to come in and intervene.
David Bahati, the Ndorwa West MP,noted that while the approach of both the opposition and police toward the problem is still debatable but there is need to look into the root cause.
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Meanwhile, Kivejinja says that government is ready to investigate the circumstances under which Besigye was shot and injured.
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walk to work demo