Uganda Braces for Economic Protests as Police Foil Plans to Torch Government Vehicles
Police have said activists and political groups that have organized protests dubbed “Uganda’s economic protests” have plans to set ablaze government vehicles.
Police and the military on Monday deployed heavily in several parts and roads leading to the city in anticipation of protests, especially in the Kampala Metropolitan Area districts of Mukono, Kampala and Wakiso.
According to police spokesperson, Fred Enanga, on Sunday night, joint security forces arrested eight suspects from Lugala and Bwaise with bomb making materials.
“Upon further interrogation, they indicated part of their plans as; burning motor vehicles parked at police stations, torching of government motor vehicles moving on the road, looting of shops and businesses that were open, blocking roads, provocation and confrontation of police, among others. Eight motor cycles were also recovered,”Enanga said.
He said the perpetrators and organisers of the protests carried out mobilisations on various social media platforms without adhering to the provisions of Section 5, of the POMA.
“They still have a duty to inform the police about the date, time, details of organisers, location and consent of the venue owners, number of persons expected and purpose of the meeting etc,” he said.
Describing the protests as illegal, Enanga said whereas the organisers want to show discontent over the current economic situation in the country, it is not exclusive to Uganda but rather being experienced globally as one of the effects of the Covid pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
Enanga explained that at the global stage, several political, business and civil society leaders, continue to discuss solutions to the stagnating global growth, and rising inflation.
“We therefore, urge the organisers of these unlawful protests to instead participate in constructive economic reforms and policies for the country, other than engaging in provocative behaviour.”
He warned that the organisers of the protests are harassing and intimidating residents and businessmen who are not willing to join them, noting that this cannot be allowed to go on.
“We shall continue using our powers and discretion in policing to detect and prevent crime, maintain law and order. All our territorial commanders have been tasked to use lawful and reasonable force to disperse and disrupt the unlawful assemblies.”
The development comes at a time when opposition political parties in the country have distanced themselves from the alleged protests.
All of them said they are not aware of any protests as alleged by security.