“Tension was high in Kakamega as Bungoma senator Moses Wetangula launched his 2017 presidential bid. Police were forced to use tear gas to evict members of ODM party who went to the venue to disrupt the meeting. Namukabo Werungah reports from Kakamega” (NTV Kenya, 2016)
I wish to inform Ugandans and all democratic forces that our planned political mobilization activities in Eastern Uganda start today.
We will hold a rally in Bugiri town, Taxi Park at 11am and thereafter head to Tororo to address a rally at Children’s Park at 3pm.
As a registered political party, FDC is legally mandated to mobilise without restrictions. Therefore, in line with our party elections road map, we commit to move to Eastern Uganda to recruit, mobilize, interact and galvanise our supporters to regain their power and invoke their self belief to pursue and achieve our goal of political change.
I urge the security agencies to cooperate with us by shifting away from being hostile, confrontational, militant and aggressive towards the opposition to a professional force as enshrined in our constitution.
FDC Presidential Flag Bearer
The Democratic Alliance registers its strongest condemnation of the criminal behavior and conduct of the Uganda Police and its officers who stopped the FDC public rally in Rukungiri and arrested FDC leaders on their way to the rally on Saturday October 10, 2015.
Uganda is currently in an election season following the Electoral Commission’s publication of the elections roadmap early this year.
There can never be free and fair elections unless agencies of state such as the police and the Electoral Commission conduct their work in a non-partisan manner. All political actors must also have the freedom to recruit supporters and sell their policies to the public.
TDA is perturbed by this outright harassment of our members and leaders. FDC is a member of TDA in good standing. Dr. Kizza Besigye is a flag bearer of FDC and an eminent person in the Summit. Hon. Wafula Oguttu (MP) is not only a member of the TDA Summit, he is also the Leader of Opposition who deserve to be respected.
That’s why the stopping of the FDC rally and the arrest of its leaders should be condemned by all peace loving Ugandans. The humiliation of FDC supporters is a humiliation to all of us.
The FDC and other political parties have already demonstrated a track record of holding peaceful public rallies and events. It is only the Uganda police that continue to import violence into these public gatherings.
The Democratic Alliance will continue to argue its members to continue on a path of peaceful resistance to the current dictatorship until it is dismantled or it crumbles under its own mistakes.
We therefore stand in solidarity with FDC and its leadership colleagues. We shall remain unyielding in demanding that legitimate political activities receive the protection of the Uganda Police Force and other state agencies.
The Uganda Police has a constitutional duty to ensure that citizens exercise their liberties and freedoms as guaranteed under the constitution. They have opted to derogate from that responsibility and turn themselves into an instrument of regime protection.
In the coming days, weeks and months, the Uganda Police Force will have to make a choice: whether to remain an instrument of the current dictatorship or to be on the side of citizens, doing everything lawful to exercise their fundamental freedoms and liberties.
For God and My Country
Sheila Kawamala Mishambi
Deputy Spokesperson, TDA
October 11, 2015