The Alliance for National Transformation- ANT presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has suspended his campaign tour until the matter of his counterpart Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu is resolved.
The Alliance for National Transformation- ANT presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has suspended his campaigns following the arrest of Presidential candidatee Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu.
Muntu made the decision on Wednesday after campaigning in Gonna, Butambala and Mpigi districts.
Kyagulanyi was arrested in Luuka district for flouting Covid-19 guidelines and detained at Nalufenya police station in Jinja City.
His arrest sparked off protests in different parts the country where hundreds took to the streets demanding for his release.
In Kampala, the rioters lit tyres in the middle of roads around Kisekka Market, Nabugabo Lane, Nasser Road, Nkrumah, City Square, Bombo Road and Kampala Road.
The act prompted the regular police backed by anti-riot police, Military and Local Defence Units- LDUs to fire teargas and live bullets to disperse the protesters leaving some people shot.
Gen. Muntu says that his party has suspended their campaign tour until further notice. The former Commander of Defence Forces (CDF) was on Thursday scheduled to campaign in Mubende, Mityana and Kassanda and on Friday in Kyankwanzi and Kiboga.
"Unfortunately we have been operating in an abnormal situation and today the situation has become extra abnormal because one of the presidential candidates hon. Kyagulanyi has been arrested and we understand that a number of people have been shot," says Muntu in part.
He adds that it doesn't make sense to have presidential candidates who have been fully nominated to campaign in a period of 60 days but only for the regime to use terror upon them.
"The regime needs to know that we are dealing with a very delicate situation in this country. They should really stop being reckless because you can do one thing and it Sparks off and the problem becomes larger than you anticipated. We don't want to go in that direction," said Gen. Muntu.
He urged that the regime pulls back and normalise the situation by first releasing presidential candidate Kyagulanyi and then work towards having sanity in the country.
"I don't know how many people have been shot dead today. Life is Life, nobody wants any Ugandan to lose life. So, if there two, three, four, five people and they are now dead...what for? You want to enforce a stupid order of what you say is Covid and then end up having so many people dead...what for?" Muntu questioned.
According to Uganda Police, 3 people have been confirmed dead and over 30 sustained injuries.
Muntu's decision to suspend followed criticism from different presidential candidates who equally demanded for the release of Kyagulanyi.
Independent Presidential candidate Gen. Henry Tumukunde, said that the country is now at a turning point in history and that the actions of the authorities shows disregard of the current state of affairs.
“We join other political leaders to unequivocally call for the immediate release of Presidential Candidate Robert Kyagulanyi,” said Tumukunde on his Twitter handle.
Norbert Mao, the Democratic Party (DP) presidential candidate issued a statement condemning the arrest of Kyagulanyi saying that all democracy seeking forces should cooperate in highlighting and combating police brutality.
“I have instructed the DP National Legal Advisor Counsel Luyimbazi Nalukoola to take legal steps to ensure that the NUP Presidential Candidate Robert Kyagulanyi who is in detention is released from custody immediately,” reads Mao’s statement in part.
Former presidential candidate under the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party ticket Dr Kizza Besigye also took to his official Twitter handle and demanded the immediate release of Kyagulanyi.
“Escalating brutality against some presidential candidates, while the Electoral Commission-EC looks on or, even encourages it, was bound to a disastrous situation,” says Besigye in part.
The four-time former presidential candidate now says that all presidential candidates should suspend their campaigns and meet to determine the way forward.