On Thursday last week, the NUP president, Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobiwine suspended the deputy head of mobilization, Moses Bigirwa, Andrew Muwanguzi, the acting head of patriotism and ideology, Bamu Lulenzi, the coordinator Busoga sub-region, Jamal Mukuve, the acting youth coordinator, Busoga sub-region and Saulo Nsongambi, the acting NUP coordinator in Jinja city for alleged misconduct.
According to Mukaya, he was repairing a motorcycle for his client in a garage in Kiyunga trading center when protests broke out following the arrest of the National Unity Platform-NUP Presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu during his campaign rally at Saza grounds.
Addressing elected NUP leaders at their retreat at the Jinja based Nile resort hotel, Kyagulanyi said that they were elected due to their humility and pledges for improved service delivery. He warned that if they choose luxurious lifestyles, they might be compromised to ignore the core principles for, which they were elected into their respective political offices.
Led by Andrew Muwanguzi, the NUP’s coordinator for Eastern Uganda, the members petitioned the Eastern Regional Uganda Human Rights Commission-UHRC officer Betty Enangu. In the petition, NUP accuses security personnel of abducting their supporters and subjecting them to different forms of torture.
“His love for Kyagulanyi is uncontrollable, it has resulted into his frequent arrests during protests as security operatives often pick him from home, accusing him of masterminding or having knowledge of all civil disobedience movements but later release him without any charges,” says his brother.
The disagreements stem from a number of issues including failure to account for the party funds on the side of some of the leaders while others are accused of supporting opponents of NUP candidates in the different races.
Luuka is one of the largest sugarcane growing districts in Busoga sub-region with 80% of the population either directly or indirectly involved in sugarcane industry, 15% deal in coffee whereas the rest are small scale holder farmers dealing in food crops.
The residents say that most of their health centres including Kibiito Health Centre IV are ill-equipped, lack essential drugs and staff while most of the roads are in a poor condition with potholes, deep gullies and are slippery and muddy.
According to statistics from the district commercial office, more than 85% of the population in Bundibugyo is directly dependent on cocoa. The crop also fetches about 150 billion shillings into the district annually.
Several UPDF officers and Police Field Force Unit personnel were seen patrolling all roads leading to court premises. Counter-terrorism police personnel have been deployed at the court entrance and restricted entrance to only those cleared by the Busoga East police commander, Anatoli Katungwensi.
Led by the NUP party Coordinator in Tooro, Innocent Natukunda, the leaders said that the subsequent arrests and shooting of those who were protesting Kyagulanyi’s arrest in several parts of the country were illegal acts.
He was picked up from Luuka district headquarters where he was addressing a mini-rally by a team of police officers led by Frank Mwesigwa, the Busoga and Bukedi Zonal commander overseeing the 2021 general elections.
Muwanguzi reportedly committed the offense when he hosted the Kyadondo East MP and People Power Leader, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine and other religious leaders at his home in Bukikimbo village in Butansi Sub County in March last year without notifying police.
Enanga says the IGP has directed the Traffic police Investigation unit under the command of Assistant Superintendent of Police Pamela Kentaro to conduct a comprehensive probe and ensure the public is informed of whatever transpired on the fateful day.