Following the arrest of the National Unity Platform presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi for continuous flouting of campaign guidelines aimed at stemming the risk of spreading COVID-19, a section of his radical supporters erected roadblocks along Masaka- Mbarara highway blocking traffic and threatening passengers as they attempted to set vehicles ablaze. Normally, the journey from Mbarara to Kampala is 3 to 4 hours but it took over 10 hours for passengers to cover the same distance.
In fact, some of the people were forced to park and sleep in their cars near safe places such as police stations while others who arrived late in Kampala slept in bus parks.
According to a passenger that travelled in Global Bus, the protesters intercepted traffic and burnt car tyres which they would push towards the buses that were coming from Mbarara.
"We are lucky that there was security deployment which dispersed the rioters that wanted to burn the bus in which we were travelling. At some point, a rioter set fire on a tyre and rolled it towards the bus. It was chaotic as passengers tried to jump out of the bus. Our driver was also on tenterhooks as he kept dodging the burning tyres," Sylvia Namatovu a business lady told this website.
We set off from Mbarara at 1 pm, the journey was smooth until we reached Masaka city where we found burning car tyres in the road we delayed because the bus was stopped for like 10minutes as security personnel were trying to clear the way.
From there, we moved on with our journey and stopped in Mpigi at around 5 pm where all vehicles that were coming from Mbarara were blocked from accessing town.
During our time there (Mpigi) a gang of young men tried to light the car tyres near ta fuel tanker which was next to our bus. They were unsuccessful in their first trial so they took the tyres aside to light them so that they can bring burning tyres.
They later managed to light them and pushed them towards our bus, one of the tyres inclined on the bus I was in, people ran out of the bus trying to save their lives, both the bus driver and the petroleum vehicle driver tried their best to find the way out of that danger and dodged those burning tyres since those merciless people were targeting the fuel vehicle.
Later after that, the police and other soldiers were deployed and the situation was calm passengers returned to their respective vehicles and sat comfortably waiting on when to access the city.
The jam started reducing and then we could travel slowly but at around 10:45 pm the road was cleared and reached Bakuli at 11 pm. I am not sure how most of the people left the park to their respective homes but I was lucky that someone pickedme and took me home.
Meanwhile, several cars were vandalized while several innocent Ugandans were attacked, undressed and beaten (VIDEO) by the hooligans in Kampala and surrounding areas following the peaceful arrest of Mr Kyagulanyi.
In a disturbing scene, an elderly woman was ordered to remove her blouse because of its colour. Watch video.
A police officer being hit a hammer by a NUP hooligan in a red shirt
Earlier on Wednesday mid-morning, Police using minimum force arrested Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine who was slated to address a rally in Luuka- Eastern Uganda, a move which violates Electoral Commission guidelines considering that there are increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths.
Bobi Wine, had from the start of Presidential campaigns indicated that he will not adhere to the Electoral Commission (EC) guidelines.
EC chairman Justice Simon Byabakama directed all Presidential candidates to desist from addressing rallies, but rather conduct meetings of 70- 200 people which he termed hybrid campaigns.
The angry supporters erected barricades in roads, lit bonfires and pelted stones at police in process of retaliation. One hooligan wearing a red shirt was seen hitting a police officer with a hammer in the middle of the city. The unarmed police officer was trying to clear the road that had been blocked by the rioters.
In some parts of Kampala like in Wandegeya, Kireka, Kasubi and Kyengera, hardcore hooligans mounted roadblocks stopping the movement of cars.
An ambulance transporting a patient was attacked by the hooligans
To be allowed to leave the roadblock, thugs asked for shs 20,000 saying it was bail money for Bobi Wine who would be taken to Court on Thursday.