There was heavy military and police deployment outside St. Luke Church Ntinda during prayers organized by Women4Uganda to pray for peace in the country.
Several military and police trucks laden with heavily armed soldiers and police personally deployed strategically around the church premises located in the trading center of Ntinda.
Some of the congregants were surprised when they stepped out of the church and found it surrounded by police and military personnel. Dr. Thelma Awori, one of the organisers of the prayers questioned the deployment, saying they had done nothing wrong to warrant the heavy deployment.
"We are women. We have not done anything to attract or attack the government. We came to pray. I am shocked that the army and police think that we are a threat that needs to be stopped,” she told URN.
Winnie Kiiza, the former Leader of Opposition and Kasese Woman Member of Parliament, criticised the deployment around the church, saying government is scared of prayerful people.
//Cue in; "The regime knows...
Cue out…intimidate God."//
Miriam Matembe, the former Bushenyi Woman Member of parliament, said the deployment of security was uncalled for.
//Cue in; "This government which
Cue out…we are guarded."//
City Lawyer, Andrew Karamagi who also attended the prayers, said actions of police and the army were embarrassing. He called on the leadership of the army and police to apologize to Ugandans for infringing on the rights to practice their faith.
//Cue in; "I was astounded…
Cue out…religious freedoms."//
Reverend Canon Diana Mirembe Nkesige, who delivered the sermon at the prayers asked the congregation to pray for the security officers to use their authority in the right way and for right purposes.
//Cue in; "We need to…
Cue out…respond with dignity."//
The Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, Luke Oweyisigire, said the deployment was normal. Today's prayers were organized to restore peace to Uganda following the unrest resulting from the arrest of various legislators during the last campaigns of the Arua municipality parliamentary elections two weeks ago.
Several legislators and civilians were picked up and tortured by security operatives for allegedly pelting the president's motorcade with stones. The arrest sparked protests in Kampala, Mityana and Jinja town leading to running battles between the protesters and police backed by the army.