Police Patrol Mbarara Streets Ahead Of Planned Demo

1885 Views Mbarara, Uganda

In short
Anti-riot police have deployed heavily in Mbarara town ahead of a planned opposition demonstration over load shedding.

Anti-riot police have deployed heavily in Mbarara town ahead of a planned opposition demonstration over load shedding.

Armed uniformed men are seen parading the streets while police vans patrol specific routes, which had earlier been announced by opposition as their meeting points.

Poly Namaye, the south western regional police publicist however downplayed the heavy deployment as a routine exercise. She called on people not to panic over the heavy police presence on the streets. 

Earlier on Tuesday morning, five anti riot police vehicles were stationed at the district police barracks ahead of the anticipated running battles with opposition demonstrators today.

Opposition leaders in Mbarara under their umbrella, ‘Electricity Drive Pressure Group”, plan to hold a peaceful demonstration on Wednesday to express their bitterness with the national power distributor, UMEME Limited.  They blame UMEME for the rampant load shedding.

DP’s Isa Makumbi, who chairs the pressure group, says demonstrators want to march from Nyamityobora suburb through High street to Umeme offices.

But Nicholas Ngonzi, the district police commander says the demo is illegal because it is not Mbarara alone which has problems of load shedding.

Like other places in the country, Mbarara town is experiencing a 12 hour power blackout, which opposition leaders say has derailed business and increased insecurity.

On Tuesday, traders in the area called on the opposition members to stop their planned demo saying it would affect their businesses.