16 Basalirwa supporters arrested in Wednesday morning raid

By Asuman Musobya

About 16 supporters of Jeema candidate in the Bugiri municipality elections, Asuman Basalirwa, were on Wednesday morning arrested from Planet Hotel in Bugiri Town.

This was after both Mr Basalirwa and Kyadondo East Member of Parliament (MP), Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi popularly known as Bobi Wine announced that security officers had surrounded the hotels in which they had spent Tuesday night.

Speaking at a hastily convened press conference at Mr Basalirwa’s campaign office in Bugiri Town Wednesday morning, Jeema party Spokesperson, Hamidu Kyamundu, said the raid happened at around 2:00am, taking the supporters – mostly from Kampala – by surprise.

Mr Kyamundu named some of the arrested persons as Democratic Party Spokesperson, Alex Waiswa Mufumbiro, the Uganda Young Democrats (UYD) secretary, Denis Muhaire and Kim Nsamba, an aide to Kyadondo East Member of Parliament (MP), Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi popularly known as Bobi Wine.

Mr Kyamundu said that after the arrest, the group was detained in Bugiri Police Station while others were reportedly transferred to Iganga and Bugiri police stations.

He, however, denied the arrest of Basalirwa and Bobi Wine who were conspicuously missing at the press conference.

“Bobi Wine is at Basalirwa’s home from where they will come and address his last campaign rally at Bugiri Bus Park,” Mr Kyamundu said.

By the time of filing this story it was unclear why the group was arrested as police promised to brief Journalists ‘within the course of the day’ while repeated phone calls to the Busoga East police Spokesperson, James Mubi, went unanswered.

This arrest comes after the National Resistance Movement (NRM) secretary general, Justine Kasule Lumumba, on Monday expressed concern over a group of people from Kampala allegedly led by Bobi Wine whom she alleged are engaging in acts of lawlessness within the area.
Ms Lumumba appealed to the police to intervene, fearing more people risk being injured ahead of the July 27 election.

This Friday, voters take to the polls to elect a Mayor and MP for the newly created Bugiri municipality.
Campaigns officially end today and President Museveni and Dr Kizza Besigye are expected in the municipality to drum up support for their respective party candidates.
Three candidates are vying for the MP seat and they include Basalirwa (Jeema), Eunice Namatende (FDC) and Joel Wamono, an independent.

The would-be fourth candidate, Hajji Siraj Lyavala, formerly the district chairman, recently stepped down from the race in favour of Basalirwa.


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