By Ivan Mwine
The Uganda Police have issued a warming to all Ugandans to desist from being used by politicians and other actor to engage in protesting the current high commodity prices in the country.
The police issued the warning following several messages that have been circulating since last week, in which activists urge Ugandans to stay home starting today Monday July 25 to Wednesday July 27, 2022, as a way of protesting the high commodity and fuel prices.
The Police warning, which is entailed in statement issued by CP Fred Enanga, the Police spokesperson, states in part thus;
“The Joint Security Agencies are aware of individuals and groups, from within the country and abroad, that are promoting hate, panic and fear, among Ugandans and visitors in the country, through videos, audio and text messages of malicious propaganda, instructing all members of the public to stay in their homes for 3 days, from the 25th to the 27th of July, 2022, as part of their alleged campaign against inflation in the country. The authors of the recordings in an aggressive tone, further issue threats of attack to persons, who are against their stay-at-home orders. After the 3 days, they claim their alleged protests will transition, into open street demonstrations and mass uprisings, to purposely cause change in government. These are illegitimate and unconstitutional means that we do strongly condemn.
For those who can remember, similar scare tactics were used by the same individuals and political groups, in February, 2021, in the aftermath of the General Elections. However, their ill-intended plans were rejected by the public, after realizing that the authors and organizers, were rallying support for street violence and civil uprisings, for their selfish political advantages. This time, they are using the surge in commodity and fuel prices to call for violence. Many countries, including the Most Developed Countries, are grappling with inflation as well, as they strive to return to normalcy.
We therefore, urge all Ugandans and visitors in the country, not to get swayed by the fear tactics, mongering and inflammatory rhetoric, by the selected individuals, political groups and sponsored bloggers. They should instead look for better ways of expressing their dissatisfaction about the economy, without fronting violence. Right now, many citizens have families to feed, have to go to work, pay taxes, children are in schools and they all deserve the right to go about their activities, without fear or intimidation.
As the Joint Security Agencies, we want to reassure all Ugandans and visitors in the country, that we remain steadfast and committed, to protecting the lives and properties of each and everyone. Our task teams are ready to prevent, deter, stop and prosecute all perpetrators behind these scare tactics, aimed at causing violence and civil uprisings.”
Meanwhile, the police and army were on Monday morning deployed heavily across various parts of Kampala to counter any protestors.
In the same vein, reports coming in from Jinja city reveal that protestors stormed the roads on Monday morning and brought traffic to a halt by burning tyres on the tarmac as a way of protesting high fuel and commodity prices.
Luckily enough the police intervened quickly and managed to put out the fire although the time they reached the scene the protestors had already fled.
On Sunday residents and traders of Masaka city also burnt tyres on the tarmac to protest high commodity prices and police had been called in quickly to put out the fire.