Uganda, on Wednesday was engulfed in a widespread unrest caused by the arrest of the opposition presidential candidate Robert Kagulanyi.
Police and its sister security agencies took to streets of popular Central and Eastern towns of Kampala, Masaka, Iganga, Mpigi, Jinja and Mukono to quell well- organized and radical protesters who demanded immediate release of Mr Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine, the National Unity Platform candidate.
Kyagulanyi was picked up by police orders of Frank Mwesigwa in Luuka District where he planned to have a campaign rally contrary to Electoral Commission (EC) guidelines.
For quite some time, the authorities including EC have warned all presidential candidates against rallying masses due to skyrocketing Coronavirus cases in the country.
Only the NRM candidate President Yoweri Museveni has complied with EC and Ministry of Health SOPs.
Bobi Wine and fellow opposition counterparts earlier before nominations indicated they wouldn’t listen to EC.
However, his arrest has resulted into death of civilians, looting, vandalism of cars and harassment of people deemed supporters of the regime.
On several highways and other outlets from the Central Business District (CBD) of Kampala, radical youth chanting Bobi Wine/ NUP slogans erected roadblocks curtailing movement of cars and boda bodas.
To have a way through, the car occupants were either asked to pay shs 20000 or sing Bobi Wine’s songs.
On some roadblocks, women were sexually harassed while people who defied were beaten by these extremists.
One of the victims who volunteered information to this website how he narrowly survived death recounts the events in dismay.
Requesting to remain anonymous, he said he had to travelled to Masaka on Wednesday morning to run his daily errands when protests erupted.
“I then left Masaka at 6pm going to my home in Najjera, Kampala. I couldn’t imagine there was still chaos because it was in the evening,” he told this website in a somber voice.
His journey was smooth and uninterrupted until he reached in Mpigi- 40kms away from Kampala- when he met heavy traffic jam.
He would later learn that People Power boys had cut off the road and to go through one must have paid.
“I was lucky to have small notes of 10k. I paid 20k and passed. I met over five roadblocks and I cleared all of them,” he said.
Trouble arose when information started flowing that accessing the city via Kyengera was hard because of traffic and errant Bobi Wine fans who were ripping apart cars and lighting bonfires in the middle of the highway.
“I couldn’t reach Maya, I instead branched off from Nakawuka and decided to use Entebbe Express highway,” he said.
Little did he know, that there was more trouble in the pathways of Nakawuka.
While in the shortcut, a group of teenagers clad in red attire and singing NUP victory songs rained on his car.
“They stopped me. They asked me which presidential candidate I support and what my name is,” he narrates.
“One of the charged teenagers who was around 16 years, scolded at me, saying if I don’t know my name I should be sorted immediately.”
According to this survivor, the teen was carrying a sharp brick. “I told him I am John Kamya. And I support People Power.”
He says he was saved by his co-driver who happens to traditionally understand what name Katumba stands for and which clan Katumba hails from in Buganda.
“I really felt betrayed I was the mercy of a 16- year- old,” he said.
He said more gangs kept pouring in and engulfing his car until he begged for forgiveness and paid some money to rescue himself.
He was able to reach home at 2am in the wee hours of Thursday morning.
The same situation happened elsewhere in Kampala as many revelers, pedestrians and car occupants were harassed in similar manner until security restored sanity.