IPC Anti-Electoral Commission Demos Flop

1610 Views Kampala, Uganda
The planned launch of countrywide demonstrations against the Electoral commission has flopped. Members of the Interparty Coalition had planned to launch the demonstrations in Kampala today. The Demos were intended to spur the resignation of the Electoral Commission. The launch pad for the demonstration was supposed to be at the Railway grounds just opposite the Railway grounds in Kampala. But by 10:00am this morning none of the IPC members had arrived at the railway grounds. FDC, UPC and JEEMA party members were also expected to match from their party headquarters to the railway grounds but by 9:00am none of the members could be sighted anywhere close to their party offices. FDC President, Col. Kiiza Besigye, the party's spokesperson, Wafula Oguttu, Asuman Basalirwa and the IPC spokesperson, Ibrahim Semujju arrived 2-hours later, to find 15 police officers armed with AK-47 rifles deployed at the venue. Besigye's arrival took the police who had been joined by Division Police Commander CPS, Patrick Achai by surprise. The media quickly mobbed Besigye and demanded to know why mass demonstrations had failed to kick off. Besigye claimed that the demos were not for the IPC coalition but for all Ugandans adding that it was up to Ugandans to take part in a noble cause. After his interaction with the media, Besigye casually left the railway grounds and drove off. There after the police were joined by young men armed with sticks and took positions at the venue. Yesterday the Inspector General of Police Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura after instructing the police to protect personnel, equipment and EC installation, and police made a heavy deployment at the EC headquarters on Jinja road. At points where a lone police officer stood before, today morning there were three armed with AK47 riffles each carrying more than one magazine of ammunitions. The deployment had extended to the nearby Centenary Park and the taxi stage opposite the EC had been removed. Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba said they would not allow members of the IPC to disrupt the on-going voter registration exercise.