olice in Aswa Region on Tuesday blocked Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi’s planned consultation meeting ahead of 2021 presidential elections.
By 11am on Tuesday, police had sealed off the premises of Da Covenant in Gulu Municipality where the leader of People Power movement had planned to hold his presidential consultation meeting.
According to the Acholi Sub-region People Power coordinator, Mr Anthony Olinge, police told them the venue was in an open space which was allegedly contrary to electoral laws and guidelines.
“It’s this morning that police are telling us that the place is not in an enclosure something that does not make sense to us at all,” he said before accusing police of letting to be used by the regime to suppress dissenting voices.
Mr Habib Jogo Asega, who was in charge of booking the venue on behalf of People Power movement leaders told this reporter that they were asked by police to ensure they had a sniffer dog deployed and a fire-fighting truck in addition to other requirements.
“We wrote to them some days ago. They did not get back to us and they are now telling us that the venue is not enclosed and giving us other unnecessary demands as if we are here to set fire. To me, blocking our consultation meetings is a sign of fear by the regime but no matter what they do, they will not survive. Mr Museveni is already consulting and no one is disturbing him,’’ he asked.
The proprietor of Da Covenant, Mr Tony Kitara said Bobi Wine’s camp had booked the venue but police told him it was not suitable for the meeting because it’s not enclosed.
“We are informed by police that this venue is not enclosed but to me this is an enclosed place,’’ Mr Kitara said.
He said the organisers did not communicate that their meeting had been cancelled after hiring the venue for Shs800,000 and making a down payment of Shs 500,000.
Aswa region police spokesperson, Mr Jimmy Patrick Okema, confirmed that security personnel had been deployed to seal off the venue because the organisers of the planned meeting breached the terms issued to them by police.
“They had been guided to choose venues that are enclosed (halls or conference rooms), but when you look at this venue, it is open and there is no parking space. They were also to meet the regional police commander of each region. However, none of them has reached us. Where they planned to meet their people is an open space and that makes it appear to be a rally instead. We are interested in cooperating with them only when they comply with these procedures they have been advised to follow,” Mr Okema said.
By the time of compiling this report, People Power leaders in the region were engaged in closed door meeting.