Heavy Police Deployment in Mbale Ahead of Mbabazi's Visit

4700 Views Mbale, Eastern Region, Uganda

In short
Truckloads of Police personnel and armored vehicles were brought into in Mbale town Mbale town last night.

There is heavy Police deployment in Mbale Town and the neighboring trading centers ahead of the scheduled consultative meeting of former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi.

Truckloads of Police personnel and armored vehicles were brought into Mbale town Mbale town last night. Tear gas trucks and heavily armed anti-riot police can be seen patrolling Mbale town and its neighborhoods.

Diana Nandawula, the Elgon Regional Police Spokesperson says the deployment is meant to counter any unlawful activities. Earlier on Nandawula told URN that Police had received intelligence indicating that there is a group of people who want to disturb peace in Mbale.

Andrew Felix Kawesa, the Director of Operations Uganda Police together with other senior police officers from Kampala are in Mbale to over the operation. The mood in Mbale is tense as many people are expecting to witness clashes between Police and pro-Mbabazi supporters there.

A number of Mbale residents and Mbabazi's supporters have condemned the heavy police deployment in Mbale. Shaban Namondo, one of the supporters of Mbabazi says the heavy deployment is meant to intimidate the ex-premier and his supporters, a thing they will not tolerate.
Sarah Musamali, a resident of Indian quarters says the heavy deployment demonstrates the lack of democracy, which she says took NRM to the bush. Mbabazi is expected to start his consultative meeting in Mbale on July 9th.

However, Police Chief General Kale Kayihura insists that Mbabazi does have the locus standi to hold the meeting since he was neither approved nor endorsed by his NRM party as a presidential candidate.
But Mbabazi insists he does not need clearance from Police and vows to proceed with his countrywide consultations as provided for under section 3 of the Presidential Election act 2005.

This particular section allows a presidential candidate to consult 12 months prior to nominations, fundraise using lawful means, prepare their manifesto and a national delegate's conference.


About the author

Denis Olaka
Denis Olaka is the URN bureau chief for Lira, in northern Uganda. Apac and Otuke fall under his docket. Olaka has been a URN staff member since 2011.

Olaka started his journalism career in 2000 as a news reporter, anchor, and then editor for Radio Lira in Lira district. He was subsequently an editor with Lira's Radio Wa in 2004 and Gulu district's Mega FM.

He was also a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper newspapers.

Olaka's journalism focuses on politics, health, agriculture and education. He does a lot of crime reporting too.