Police Blocks People Power Consultation in Gulu

Police in a tangle with a People Power supporter in Gulu on Monday. Photo by Jesse Johnson James 

By Jesse Johnson James

Police in Gulu on Tuesday afternoon blocked a consultation meeting of the People Power Pressure group headed by the Kyadondo East Constituency Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine.

The consultation meeting was scheduled to take place at Da Covenant, a Bar located in Layibi Division, Gulu Municipality.

Kyagulanyi has showed interest in challenging president Museveni for the presidency in the forthcoming 2021 general election.

Police deployed heavily at Da Covenant, the venue booked by People Power for the consultation.

Superintendent of police Emmanuel Mafundo, the Gulu District Police Commander, commanded the operation to block the meeting. Mafundo told angry People Power supporters headed by Mityana Municipality Member of Parliament Hon. Francis Zaake that the consultation had been blocked because the organizers did not meet all the requirements under the Public Order Management Order Act.

“Your meeting has been blocked because you have failed to meet all the requirements.” Mafundo declared to Zaake and his colleagues

The Mityana legislator’s effort to plead with police to allow them access the venue did not yield fruit as police played deaf ear.

In an interview with journalists from outside Da Covenant Bar, Francis Zaake described the police’s blocking of their meeting as an act of cowardice.

“We got a place right here and it is not as huge as Kasangati or Gayaaza was. It was very easy to have the meeting here and yesterday their complaint was that we are in an open place, today we got an enclosed place and again they a blocking us and threatening the owner, which is very bad.” Zaake complained

“This is a sign of fear, it is a sign that we must do something to make sure that we get our power back because this is none sense,” Zake railed

Bobi Wine was not in Gulu town on Tuesday for the consultation meeting. The People Power leader himself had a day before been blocked and arrested by police for attempting to hold a consultative meeting in Gayaza located in his Kyadondo East constituency.

Tony Kitara the proprietor of Da Covenant Bar revealed that a security meeting held on Monday evening, People Power was advised to change their venue from Da Covenant Bar to an enclosed place like Alobo Limited.

According to Kitara, People Power secured Alobo Limited as advised by police they(security) refused to inspect the venue claiming it was too late.

This is the third time that People Power Pressure group has been denied holding a consultation meeting, having been blocked earlier in Kyadondo East in Wakiso district and in Kitgum district.