Police have used live bullets and teargas to break up a procession led by Brenda Nabukenya, the joint opposition candidate in the Luweero District Woman MP bye-elections.
It came shortly after Nabukenya was nominated for the May 22 polls. Police accused the opposition supporters of blocking traffic along the Kampala-Gulu highway and creating disorder in the town.
Nabukenya who is seeking re-election arrived at Luweero district headquarters at 12:30pm. She was declared nominated by Alex Komuhangi, the Luweero Electoral Commission returning officer at around 2pm.
Nabukenya told local media shortly after her nomination that Luweero continues lagging behind because President Yoweri Museveni and the ruling government have ignored it.
She says despite the contribution of the district to NRA liberation struggle, residents have nothing to boast of yet they shed blood to usher in the current regime. Nabukenya says she is back in the race to remind government of its unfulfilled promises.
Shortly after her nominations, Nabukenya together with Mugisha Muntu, the FDC leader, his predecessor Kizza Besigye, Former DP presidents Kizito Ssebaana, Paul Ssemwogerere and several opposition supporters embarked on procession along Kampala-Gulu highway paralyzing traffic.
As a result, anti-riot police led by Godfrey Ninsiima, the Luweero District Police Commander opened fire and teargas to disperse the opposition supporters accusing them of blocking traffic leading to violent clashes. It took the intervention of Wafula Oguttu, the leader of Opposition in parliament who engaged police to stop shooting and allow their procession to continue.
Oguttu said they are aware NRM is using the state machinery to intimidate and threaten their supporters but said they are not deterred. He said they are united as the opposition to defend Nabukenya at all cost. Muwanga Kivumbi and Suzan Namaganda, the Butambala and Bukomansimbi MPs condemned the police brutality against peaceful supporters.
Nabukenya’s supporters vowed to rally behind her at all costs. By the time of filing this story, Nabukenya and her supporters were still holding their procession through various sub counties with several stop over to address voters. The Luweero district woman MP seat fell vacant after the court of appeal nullified the election of Nabukenya on the grounds that the election didn’t comply with electoral laws.
Nabukenya will tussle it out with Ramulah Kadaala and Faridah Namubiru independent candidates who were nominated on Monday evening and Rebecca Nalwanga, the NRM candidate is expected to be nominated on Tuesday.