Police in Rukungiri District in western Uganda Monday blocked the Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party from holding thanksgiving prayers for the deceased supporters.
“Instead of providing badly needed security and policing services to Ugandans, Uganda police is heavily deployed in various parts of Rukungiri today to stop an innocent, peaceful thanksgiving function! Road to my home blockaded. May be planning to massacre people as happened in Kasese!” former party president Kizza Besigye tweeted on Monday.
On Sunday, police in Kigezi region said they had written to FDC leaders advising them to call off the event.
Addressing journalists in Rukungiri, District Police Commander Moses Nanoka, who was flanked by his Kigezi region spokesperson Elly Maate, said the security agents had written to the FDC leadership a letter of notification and he believed that the party secretary general had received it.
“Announcements have all along been on, informing and calling upon people to join the party in thanksgiving prayers in Rukungiri main stadium, but we have written to the secretary-general of the party about the same and we believe he has received this letter from the Inspector General of Police. They (FDC leaders) usually don’t inform their people. We have always worked jointly with the party and everything has been smooth,” Mr Nanoka said.
He said the police letter was written on November 16, 2018, replying to the November 14 letter addressed to the IGP by FDC informing police about the thanksgiving prayers.
“There are things that you are supposed to have done but unfortunately, the letter you (FDC) wrote lacks particulars of the organisers. Police in Rukungiri does not know the organisers to work with for peace during the activities. This is one of the reasons the activities are stopped. Politicians know the law but they pretend not to know it,” Mr Nanoka said on Sunday.
By Monday morning, police had deployed more personnel and armoured trucks in several parts of Rukungiri District.
FDCs had planned thanksgiving prayers for party supporters who died in October 2017 during a rally against the amendment of the presidential age limit.