The police on Friday fired teargas to disperse supporters of the National Unity Platform (NUP) political party who had gathered at their party headquarters to remember those killed during the November 2020 riots.
November 18 marked two years since at least 54 people were killed as police and the army tried to quell protests in Kampala and other parts of the country. On that day, people held demonstrations across the country demanding the immediate release of the then-presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine who had been arrested in Luuka district where he was supposed to campaign.
In response to the riots, security personnel fired live ammunition, and teargas and beat protesters killing according to police 54 people. After holding prayers on Friday, NUP supporters led by Francis Zaake and former Kampala Central candidate Vincent Nyanzi led a demonstration from the NUP headquarters towards the Kamwokya centre.
Many of them were donning black T-shirts with the words #Novembermassacre while others were holding placards with images of some of the people who were killed during the riots. However, police and the army intercepted them barely 200 meters from their headquarters and fired live bullets and teargas to disperse them.
Speaking during the prayers, Bena Namulindwa, a resident of Mutundwe who lost her husband Baker Lubwama Kato told URN that life has been so hard for the last two years.
“This one’s father (referring to the baby) was shot dead during riots, he left me pregnant and this is the baby I gave birth to,” she said.
Namulindwa explained that after the demise of her husband, she struggled to raise rent and also her welfare because she was pregnant and her husband was the sole breadwinner.
After his death, Namulindwa vacated her rented house in Seguku and stayed at Pastor Tom’s church in Mutundwe for a meantime before NUP gave her some money and started renting in Mutundwe where stays while vending maize.
Namulindwa is one of the hundreds who gathered at NUP headquarters in Kamwokya to hold prayers for their relatives and loved ones who were killed in November 2020.
Speaking at the event, Zaake, said that the only justice their people can get is when Museveni leaves power. He claimed that as NUP leaders, they are not concerned about compensating individuals who have lost loved ones, but rather in seeing Museveni leave office.
“As we have gathered here to pray, we must put into action our prayers, so that we can force Museveni out of power. We are not here to ask for compensation, we are beyond that, we are saying that it is high time Museveni left power if our people are to get justice,” Zaake said.
Sheikh Ukasha Ssemakula, one of the religious leaders who took part in the prayers asked religious leaders to come out and speak about what he called the wrongs that are taking place in the country.
“Many religious leaders are quiet; they are either scared or they were bought. We celebrate religious leaders like Janan Luwum because they sacrificed for their country.”
Source: The Observer