Police in Kisoro district on Friday evening arrested Sam Bitangaro, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bufumbira South for holding a public rally, which is in violation of guidelines set to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
"Police received Intelligence information about disobedience of lawful orders by Sam Bitangaro... who held a rally on Wednesday, 26/08/2020 at Kabindi Playground in Nyarusiza Subcounty Kisoro District that attracted many people and failed to observe social distance," Elly Maate, the spokesman for Kigezi Region Police said in a statement.
"A team was dispatched to the scene. However, due to the bad terrain of the area, Police found when the rally had already ended. The MP talked to people briefly and continued to other villages of the same sub-county. Police deployed in the areas of Buhangura, Karambi, Mubande and Bushoka trading centers all in Nyarusiza sub-county where he had planned other rallies to prevent him going ahead with his plans."
The legislator was arrested Friday evening and he is currently detained at Kisoro Police Station pending court.
When the Electoral Commission was unveiling the electoral roadmap, it banned public campaigns.
“After consultation with the Ministry of Health, we have agreed on SOPs and left out usual activities like mass campaigns that can be a danger. For voting, a voter must physically appear to vote, so we will also consider SOPS to enable this,” Justice Simon Byabakama, the EC chairman, said.
Bitangaro is an NRM leaning candidate and, according to the NRM electoral roadmap, parliamentary elections will be held on September 4.