Government has condemned the manner in which several members of public erupted into protests following the arrest of National Unity Platform presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi also known as Bobi Wine.
Following Kyagulanyi’s arrest by police for violating Coronavirus guidelines and detention at Nalufenya police station in Jinja, protests erupted in Kampala and later spread to several parts of the country, especially town centres.
In a statement released on Thursday afternoon, the Minister for ICT and National Guidance, Judith Nabakooba described the Wednesday incidents as unfortunate and need to be avoided.
“The loss of lives and destruction of property that happened yesterday was very unfortunate. This number could continue to grow if you take into account the countrywide incidences. In some of the images, we see situations where people are directly attacking police officers who were trying to restore order,” the minister said.
Nabakooba warned that it was foolish for some of the protesters to turn their anger onto security officers who had come to calm the situation.
“Usually, the victims of this lawlessness are innocent pedestrians trying to get to safety or the early responders such as the police. I call upon everyone especially the youth to stay away from any form of rioting. Starting fires in the middle of the road, looting, attacking others because of their political ideology is wrong and should be condemned by everyone.”
The minister urged members of the public to cooperate with security in identifying the ring leaders of the chaos that saw a lot of property destroyed and lives lost.
She however asked all the presidential candidates to adhere to the Ministry of Health and Electoral Commission guidelines on the prevention of the spread of the deadly virus.
“The country is conducting a national election amidst a pandemic that has claimed several lives. It is therefore important that all presidential candidates make an effort towards respecting these guidelines. They are for our own good.”
Death toll at seven
The development comes at a time when the number of people who died during the Wednesday chaos rose to seven.
“We had seven people who lost their lives out of the violent ruckus. About 45 people got injuries, including an LDU whose head was smashed,” the police spokesperson, Fred Enanga said.
The police mouthpiece however blamed the National Unity Platform for failure to control the demonstrators; most of whom he said were supporters of the party.