Several Ugandans have stormed various social media platforms to demand an end to police brutality as the country gears up for the 2021 general elections.
At least five people were reportedly injured on Tuesday as police arrested 2021 presidential candidates Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine and FDC’s Patrick Oboi Amuriat and where as a joint security taskforce came out to blame the candidates for their arrests, Ugandans have insisted that police perpetuated this violence and that it needs to stop.
The perpetuators of this online demonstration have now started an hashtag dubbed #StopPoliceBrutalityInUganda to demand for better services from the security forces.
”Excessive use of force by law enforcement is a civil rights violation,
Protect us DO NOT shoot us. #StopPoliceBrutalityinuganda,” Esther Birungi said in a tweet.
— Esther Birungi (@EstherBirungi4) November 4, 2020
“Look at this, he went to get nominated. He is a full presidential candidate but police sprayed teargas in his eyes now what about we the nobodies ahhh abeg ✊ #StopPoliceBrutalityinuganda,” another user noted in a tweet.
Steven Anguma said that Ugandans think it’s normal to be beaten and molested.
” We’ve accepted to be abused like animals to level of being powerless to demand better. The shame and humiliation must stop. #StopPoliceBrutalityinuganda,” he said.
Several others have used the same hashtag to criticize ‘elite’ Ugandans for showing solidarity with Americans as they go to the polls, leaving behind the things that affect them most.
“Ugandans out there trying to be more American than they are Ugandans pushing American elections and ignoring what is affecting them directly back home mbu they are woke ✊ #StopPoliceBrutalityinuganda” Aarone Baine said via Facebook.
Several activists have also condemned police actions in the strongest terms possible saying such acts must stop before 2021 general election.
“A country where the regime thinks election is a situation of war and treats opposition members as enemies. Bobi Wine and Patrick Amuriat were brutalised and dehumanised, NUP officials injured during nominations by partisan security officers,”said Sarah Bireete, executive director of the Centre for Constitutional Governance.
Police defended their actions in a statement issued on Tuesday evening, saying it was inevitable to restore law and order.
“Amuriat blatantly defied the traffic flow plan agreed upon from his home in Najjera to Kyambogo. He instead opted to proceed to Najjanankumbi to lead a delegation of over 2000 supporters in total disregard of the Electoral and Health SOPs. He, however, was safely transported to Kyambogo,” police spokesperson, Fred Enanga said of the FDC presidential candidate who was arrested and arrive at the nomination centre barefooted.
In one incident, Police had to break into Kyagulanyi’s vehicle, violently picked him and bundled into a waiting vehicle and driven to his home amid the firing of tear gas to disperse the presidential candidate’s supporters who had gathered in big numbers.
The Police spokesperson noted that whereas Kyagulanyi had initially cooperated with security as he proceeded for his nomination, he later refused to heed to directives prompting his arrest.